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FOR I 871. 














^^-"-"^ ^r .i i»Act«f Oi ^ omik »i>gi— rlSS^Vr 

Ift the Ofice of ibe' UMaoBiK of Coogrcss;^ ^ Was&mpciL 



The design of the present work is to furnish a brief, yet 
snflSciently full, mention of the more important discoveries 
in the various departments of science during the year 1871, 
selecting, however, only siich as appear likely to excite a 
general interest, or to be of lasting importance. The spe- 
cial student of Astronomy, of Chemistry, or of the physical 
sciences generally, of Natural History in any of its branch- 
es, etc., will, of course, not confine himself to the brief ab- 
stracts of a work like this. Such persons can only be satis- 
fied with the publications devoted particularly to their sev- 
eral chosen departments of science, in the pages of which 
they may hope to be enabled to pursue their studies and in- 
vestigations through all the minutest details of progress. 

The very complete series of publications of learned soci- 
eties, and of journals specially devoted to various branches 
of science, belonging to the Smithsonian Institution, have 
been kindly placed at the service of the editor by its Secre- 
tary. With the facilities thus furnished for surveying the 
field of science, with the aid, in addition, of numerous for- 
eign and domestic scientific serials received by mail for 
use in this connection (enumerated at the end of the vol- 
ume), the editor trusts that not much of a general interest 
or importance has been overlooked. 

In providing for the general public, there is, of course, a 
great margin for varying tastes and judgment, and no two 
minds would probably agree exactly as to what should be 
selected and what omitted. In making his choice, the edi- 
tor has endeavored to do proper justice to all the various 
subjects of scientific interest and research, and to neglect 
nothing of real interest, and he has endeavored not to al- 
low his own partialities to influence him unduly in his se- 


lections. How far he has succeeded he must leave others 
to judge. He may, however, be permitted to add — and 
justice to those, to whose friendly aid he owes so much, 
requires that he should do so — that in gathering material 
and in adapting it for the purposes in question, he has been 
so fortunate as to secure the assistance of some of the most 
eminent men of .science of this country, some of whom 
have, in addition, furnished quite a number of original 
communications containing accounts of personal discover- 
ies and observations. 

In preparing the matter of the present volume, the de- 
sign has been to furnish abstracts only, divesting the differ- 
ent subjects, as far as practicable, of mere technicalities, 
and omitting what was not properly relevant. In many 
instances, indeed, a single article has been made to embrace 
data from a number of different sources, while not unfre- 
quently are included original ideas, unpublished elsewhere, 
and derived from personal investigation or supplied by col- 
laboration as already mentioned. In very few cases has a 
literal copy of any article been made, and this only where 
farther coiidensation or other change appeared inexpedient. 

A large portion of the contents of this volume has al- 
ready appeared in the "Editor's Scientific Kecord" of 
Harper's Monthly, and the " Scientific Intelligence" of the 
Weekly ; some of it also in the Philadelphia Public Ledger 
and elsewhere. It is here, however, arranged somewhat in 
systematic order for the benefit of special students, and 
more or less revised, and in book form, with the original 
references appended, as explained in the table on page 
614. The remainder of the book, embracing material 
which could not be introduced into the journals referred to 
for want of space, is here presented for the first time. 

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, March 1, 1872. 


PREFACE Page ui 



The Son: Eclipse of December, 1870, 8; Corona, 1, 2; Protuberances, 6, 
12 ', Spots, 7 ; Explosion in, 12 ; Period of Rotation, 13 ; Temperature, 6. — 
Tlie Stars : Parallax of, 10.-^Ilie Planets : Erato, 13 ; New Asteroids, 15 ; 
Transit of Venus in 1874, 14.— The Xoon : Mass of, 9.— Comets : Tele- 
scopic, 14; Nature of, 15; Spectrum of Encke's, 17.— ^Meteorites, 11, 18. — 
Nebulae, 8.— The Aurora, 10.— Zodiacal Light, 37. 


Water-courses, 19.— Lakes : Blue Color of, 38.— Tides, 20 ; Action on the 
Earth, 21 ; Influence of atmospheric Pressure on, 37. — ^Gravity of the Earth, 
22; Pendulum Experiment in India, 39. 

The Atmosphere in general: Ozone, 22; Climate of Peru, 24; of Michi- 
gan, 35 ; Influence of Trees, 25 ; Influence of the Moon, 36.— Winds : Pre- 
diction of Gales, 31 ; Winds of the North Atlantic, 33 ; Calm in Storms, 31. 
—Pressure : Influencing Tides, 37 ; Determination of Heights, 34.— Tem- 
perature : Cycles of, 26 ; Waves of, 27 ; of the Air at different Heights, 27 ; 
of the Earth at different Depths, 27 ; Cold on Mount Washington, 32 ; 
Freezing of Water, 29; Radiation, 37; in Mount Cenis Tunnel, 27, 37.— 
Xoistare: Rain-fall, 22, 29; Variation with Altitude, 30; Formation of 
Clouds, 24 ; New Form of Clouds, 30 ; Direct Condensation by Glaciers, 25 ; 
Hail, 36 ; Insects in Hailstones, 218 ; Storms, 23, 35«— Instraments : Ther- 
mometer, 28 ; Barometer, 35 ; Weathercock, 31.— Observatioiis : Smith- 
sonian Institution, 27; Storm-signal Service, 32 ; Station at the Azores, 34. 


Magnetism : Curves, 41 ; Action on Gases, 50.— Electricity of the Atmos- 
phere, 43; Opposite Currents, 50.— Apparatus : Batteries, 41, 42; Amal- 
gam, 43. 

* In the arrangement of articles in the body. of the work, it was found difficult to 
place them in systematic sequence. The effort has been made in the Table of Con- 
tents to rectify any misplacement of paragraphs, so as to bring together those most 
nearly related, and in proper order. 





Chemical Action on Petroleum, 45, 78.— Spectral Analysis of Blood, 45; of 

Water, 46 ; Diffusion of, 46 ; Fluorescence, 46 ; Color of Lake and Sea Wa- 
ter, 47 ; Vision, Duration of, 44 ; Sensitive Flames, 43. 


Boiling Points, 47 ; in Coal, 49 ; of Aqueoos Solutions, 49. 


Phenomena on Mount Sinai, 47. 


Oases : Absorption of, by Charcoal, 67.— Oxygen : Rusting of Iron, 51. 
—Hydrogen, 66.— Iodine, 71.— Snlphur : Aqueous Solvent for, 68.— Car- 
bon: Plumbago, 65; in Steel, 66.— Kanganese : in Blood and Milk, 68; 
in Acorns, 288.— Potassiam in Tobacco-smoke, 73.— Cerium a Test for 
Strychnine, 72.— Gold : in Quartz, 53 ; Non-amalgamable, 54.— Silver : Al- 
loy, 54; Testing of, 54; Brittle, 78.— Copper in Pyrites, 55.— Iron: Mi- 
croscopic Character, 61 ; Purification by Sodium, 62 ; Removal of Phos- 
phorus,' 63; Graphite in, 65; Gas in,. 66.— Steel : Microscopic Structure, 
1; Heaton, 63, 64; Berard, 63; Bessemer, 64; Carbon in, 66.— Alloys: 
Silver, 54; Bronze, 55 ; Sodium and Potassium, 55.— Plating of Metals : on 
Fabrics, 56, 61 ; on Zinc by Iron, 56 ; Nickel and Cobalt, 57, 58 ; Tin, 59 ; 
Plating of Organic Matrices, 60.^Bedaotien of Hetals: by Hydrate of 
Chloral, 52; by Chloride of Iron, 53; of Native Solphides, 52.— Alloys, 54, 
532; Phosphorus Bronze, 53Si. 

IGlk, 80.— Dambose, 79.— Alkaloids : Coniin, Synthesis of, 73 ; Regia- 
nine, 74 ; new one in Cinchona, 75.— Chloral Hydrate, Test for, 72 ; as a re- 
ducing Agent, 52.-^lyeerine : Butyric Acid in, 72 ; Pure, 79. — Coal-tar : 
Acridine, 77. — Fetrelenm, Action of light on, 45, 79.— Besin, Solidifica- 
tion of, 68.— Gnn-ootton, Non-explosive, 69^— Water-glass, 70.— Chrome 
Alum, 78.— Snlphnrie Acid, 71.— Carbonate of Lime, 67.— Bichromate 
of Potash, 518, 519. 

Chemical Tests: for Hsemin, 66; Strychnine, 72; Hydrate of Chloral, 
72 ; Benzole, 72 ; Butyric Acid, 72. 


Iron: Homeric, 81; in Guayaquil, 81. — Silver: Lake Superior Mines, 82. 
— ^lin: New Localities of, 93. — Silicon: Quartz Crystals, 93.— Carbon: 
Diamonds in Xanthophyllite, 81 ; South African, 82. 

America: Missouri, 82; Nevada, 86; South Carolina (Phosphate Beds), 
87; New England and the Plrovinces, 94, 95, 101; Lake Superior (Silver 
Mines), 92; California, 102; American Lakes, 83; Atlantic Coast, 84, 97, 
101; White Monntains, 86; Jamaica, 97; Greenland, 96; Pliocene Period, 
91.— Europe : the Alps, 99 ; Great Britain, 88, 90.— Asia : Caves of the 
Altai, 89.— Africa : Diamond Fields, 82. 

Ice Action : North American Coast, 84 ; White Mountains, 86 ; New 
England, 94, 95; Greenland, 96; Scotland, 84; Switzerland, 98 ; Spitzber- 
gen, 94. 


CkMl and Petroleun : New Localities, 93 ; New Variety of Coal, 100 ; in 
Nova Sootia, 100; Origin of, 286. 

Fonilf : Caves of Altai, 89 ; Kent's Cave, 90 ; Vegetable, in California, 
102. See also Zoology ; Botany. 

IQieellaBeoai : Volcanoes, 82 *, Earthquakes, 98 ; Pre-gladal Heat, 85 ; 
Land Slides, 98 ; Microscope in Geology, 83, 92 \ Guano, 101 •, Hydro-geol- 
ogy, 88 ; Artesian Wells, 92 ; Artesian Borings, 92. 


Qenerftl Problems, 103 ; Ocean Currents in general, 113; of the Mediter- 
ranean, 111 ; Sargasso Sea, 115, North America in the Pliocene Period, 91 ; 
Sea-bottom of the Atlantic, 97. ' 

The deep Seas: On the Porcupine, 127 ^ in the Baltic, 128; in the Adri- 
atic, 126 ; of the School-ship Mercury, 147 ; of the Hassler, 104, 105 ; of the 
North Atlantic Bed, 126; of the St. Lawrence River, 139; Ga8p^,275; of 
Vineyard Sound, 140 ; New Jersey Coast, 276 ; in Florida, 277 ; of the Yacht 
Noma, 273 ; Waters of the Lakes, 141 ; Gulf of Mexico, 274. 

The Axctie Begions : Payer and Weyprecht, 119, 120 ; Rosenthal, 118 ; 
Russian Geographical Society, 107, 117 ; Greenland, 123, 124, 125 ; Nova 
Zembla, 122 ; %)itzbergen, 117 i Kara Sea, 116 , White Sea, 121.~The Ant- 
arctio Begions, 109. 

North America : Alaska, Yukon, Raymond, 138 ; Rocky Mountains, 
Hayden, 130, 136; Marsh, 131 ; Colorado, Powell, 132; YeUowstone, Lang- 
ford, 134; Hayden,136; California, King, 137 ; Kansas, Cope, 133.— Kiddle 
America: West Indies, 141.-.43oath America, 142, 143; Darien Canal, 
143; Peru,145^ Brazil, Hartt, 147; Demerara, 148. 

Polynesia: Alarshall Isbmds, 108; Aurora and Sunday Islands, 109.—* 
Asia, 117, 127; Madagascar, 128.— Africa, Bayne, 130; Schweinfurth, 130. 


Miereseopy : Diatoms, 227 { Cooooliths, 229; Bacteria and Fungi, 269 ; 
Organic Forms in the Air, 269.— Origin of Life, 153, 160, 162, 263.— Dar- 
winism or Evolution, 153, 156 ; Natural Selection, 219 ; Natural History 
Collections of Parwin, 272. 

Sdentifio Eiplerations : Gulf of Suez, 274 ; Gulf of Naples, 274 ; Ger- 
man Ocean, 276; Noma, 273; Gulf Stream, 276; Gasp^, 275; New Jersey 
Coast, 276 ; Vineyard Sound, Buzzard's Bay, 140 ; Florida Coast, 277. See 
also Geography; Explorations. 


Animal Mechanics, 163 ; Mind in the lower Animals, 174; FresenratiYes 
of decayed Flesh, 629; Injuries to Telegxiqph Cables by Animals, 271, 272. 

The KenrOQS System : Theory of Nervous Action^ 173 ; a Nervous Ether, 
232; Rate of Mental Tnmsmitoion, 174 ; the Brain, Relation to the Spinal 
Marrow, 164; Difference of Brain in Animals, 240; Extirpation of the 
Brain of a Frog, 204. 


The Bones: Strontian in, 164; Pennanence of, 165; Compositton in Par- 
alytics, 167; Eighth Kib in Man, 171; Platycnemic Skeleton, 242; Skull 
of Hindoos, 246 ; Work on Osteology, by Prof. Flower, 244. 

The MuMles : of Molluaca, 244.— The Skin : Skin-grafting, 172.— The 
Blood : Coagulated, 171 ; Difference in Baces, 172.— Farantes : Entozoa, 
Delhi Boil, 171; of the Cattle Plague, 282.— Poisons : Serpent-bites and 
Remedies, Halford's Cure, 175, 176; Curare, 237; Mboundon, 177; of the 
Scorpion, 177 (see Therapeutics). — Diseases (see also Therapeutics): Small- 
pox among the Indians, 240 ; Fish, Fungus growth on, 267. — ^Inilnence of 
Fhysioal Agents : Heat, 2S4 ; Cold, 237 ; Variation of Piessare, 235, 236 : 
Change of Medium in Fish, 265, in Crustaoea, 226; Phosphorus, 239.— 
Foodi Bread Diet, 169; Elimination of Nitrogen, 170. 


Australia, 149; New Zealand, 152; Azores, 149; Scotland, 189 ; East Flor- 
ida, 271 ; West Coast of America, 152 ; Faunal Provinces, 150. 


New Fossils, 247 ; Fossil in Ohio, 252 -, in Kansas, 133 ; Port Kennedy Bone 
Cave, 249 ; Game-trade of Chicago, 254. 

Han. Culture and Habits : Cannibalism in Europe, 160 ; Origin of Civiliza- 
tion, 164 ; Alcoholism, 169 ; Use of the Right Hand, 238 ; Food: Bread Diet, 
169 ; Climate, Effect of, on Man, 167, 168 ; Disease and Monstrosities: Hered- 
itary Deformities, 163 ; from Atmospheric Germs, 161 ; Small-pox among 
the Indians, 240; Relation to other Animals, 2^; to the Gibbons, 245; 
Mental Condition.' Transmissibility of Qualities, 183; Fossil Man, 178; in 
the Tertiary Period, 180 ; Prehistoric Man and Ancient Man, Lake-dwell- 
ers, 181 ; Cave-dwellers, 183, 242 ; Skeletons in, 242 ; Sepulture, 242 ; Shell- 
heaps in New Brunswick, 182 ; Rock Inscriptions, Mode of Copying, 239 ; 
made by Bushmen, 241 ; in New Mexico, 241 ; in Peru, 243 ; in the Black 
Sea, 127 ; Modem Man : Gay Head Indians, 240. 

Other Mammals : General, 133, 188 ; Fossil, 189, 247, 248, 251, 252 ; Cat, 
Antiquity of the, 185; Antiquity of the Pig, 184; the Mole, 187; the Hip- 
popotamus, 187 ; the Rhinoceros, 187 ; the Tapir, 278; the Horse, 186; the 
Mastodon, 248 ; the Elephant, 253, 254 ; the Rat, 185 ; the Wakus, 247 ; the 
Whale, 185, 255 ; the Marsupials, 188. 

General : Birds of Scotland, 189 ; of East Florida, 271 ; Variation of Color 
in, 190 ; Transporting living, 286 ; Trade in, 257 ; Difference of Sex in Eggs, 
191^ Size of Chick, 192; OU from Petrels, 191; Pelican Oil, 466; FUght 
of Birds, 194. 

Special! Ostrich, 192, 193, 194; Moa, 197, 198; Touraco, 196; Turkey, 
251, Dodo Pigeon, 192; Gulls, 196; Parrot, 257; Great Auk, 258. 

Alligators, 199, 259 ; Homed Toad, 198 ; Mosasaurus, 200 ; Fossil Saurians, 
200; Pterodactyl, 199; Serpents, Poison of, 175, 176, 255; Poisonous, in 
America, 201; in India, 201, 203; in the West Indies, 202; in Australia, 
202 ; Turtles, 203 ; Turtles and the Florida Cable, 271. 

New Sieboldia, 205 ; Frogs in New Zealand, 208. 


General : Confusion of Names, 205 ; Phosphorescence when Dead, 211 ; Re- 
lationships, 261 ; Pectoral Fins, 261 ; Fishes of the British Museum, 206 ; of 
Cuba, 211 ; of Algeria, 211 ; Change from Fresh Water to Salt, 265 ; Fossil, 
in Wyoming, 248, New Jersey, 248; Killing, with Torpedoes, 267; Fun- 
gus growth on, 267.~Fi8h dnlture : Stocking Rivers, 205, 265, 266 ; Food 
of young Trout, 217, 350.— liriieriee : Exposition at Naples, 847 ; Steam 
in, 348 ; of Connecticut, 349. 

Spedal : Herring, Spawning of, 207 ; Food o^ 208 ; Codfish, Tame, 212 ; 
Stones in the Stomach of, 213 ; in Alaska, 259. — Salmon, Kelts, 215 ; in Loch 
Tay, 215 ; Land-locked, 216 ; in the British Provinces, 260 ; in the Hudson, 
264; Sahnon-fly, 263.— Trout, Tailless, 217; Food of young, 217, 350.— 
Sturgeon, 213. — Lamprey, 213. — ^Ganoid, 214. — Gourami, 214. — ^New Lophi- 
oid, 214.— Bluefish, 278 — Pompano, 260.— Horse-mackerel, 263.— Black 
Bass, 264.— Eyeless Fish, 266. 

Fossil, 223 ; Injected with Silica, 225. 


New Brachiopod, 223 ; European, 224 ; Color of SheUs, 224 ; Muscular Fibre, 
224 ; of Gulf of Suez, 274 ; of Gaspfe, 275 ; Oyster-fisheries in Germany, 270 ; 
Enemies of Spat, 270. 


Of Madeira, 218 ; in Salt Water, 269 ; in Hailstones, 217 ; Selection for Food 
by Birds, 219; Fungus growth on, 221, 223 ; new Parasite of the Elephant, 
221; Reduvius, 222; Cockroach, 222; Phylloxera, 222; White Ant, 269; 
Cabbage Butterfly, 270. 

Bites of Scorpions, 177. 


Changing from Salt Water to Fresh, 226; from the Gulf Stream, 276; new 
Fosdl, 228 ; Climbing Trees, 229 ; Feet of Trilobite, 228. 



Rare Species, 225. 


Felobins, a new Rhizopod, 230. 


General : Effect of Trees on Climate, 279 ; Spontaneous Forest Fires, 280; 
Origin of Coal, 286 ; Drying Flowers, 293 ; Flowering of Plants, 311 ; Petri- 
fied Forest in California, 102. 

Vegetable Physiology: Action of Light on Tissues, 290; of Heat and 
Cold, 291, 297, 298 ; of Electricity, 296 ; of Illuminating Gas, 292 ; Circula- 
tion of Plants, 291 ; Movements of Chlorophyl Grains, 295 ; Transpiration 
of Leaves, 289, 295; Autumnal Change of the Color of Foliage, 294, 307; 
Artificial Change of the Color of Flowers, 290, 296 ; Generation of Heat by 
Fungi, 290 ; Growth in Solutions, 298 ; Lime in Water Plants, 312. 

FoisonoiiB Plants: Manzanilla, 289.— Diseases: Blight, 287^ Coffee- 

A 2 


tree Diseaae, 287 ; Action of Gas, 292 ; of Potato, 821 ; of Grape-vine, 853.— 
ConstitaeiLti of Plants : Manganese in Aoonm, 288 ; Nitrogen in Mol- 
beny Leaves, 288. 

Spedal Botany : Ailanthos, 281 ; Cinchona in Jamaica, 282, 810, in Java, 
281, in Algiers, 282; European Plane-tree, 283; Horse-chestnut, 283; Eu- 
calyptus, 311 ; Milk-tree, 283 ; Fodder Plants, 283 ; Andromeda, Carbolic 
Acid in, 284; Rhodea, Fertilization of, 294; Maize, Origin of, 285; Elodea, 
or " Water Pest^' Uses of, 285; Silphium, or Compass-plant, 285; Clearing 
Bean of India, 309; Sea Grasses {Zostera), 311; Manzanilla, 289; Orange 
Fungus of Bread, 286 ; Mushrooms, 301 ; Fucu8 JSerratiu, 287. 

General : Gardens in Algiers, 305 ; Tropical, in England, 806 ; Preservation 
of Fruit, 302; of Grapes, 304, 305 ; Forest Tree-planting on Ptairies, 279; 
Effect of Trees on Climate, 279 ; Labels for Plants, 293. 

Kitchen and Fmit Garden : Raising early Vegetables, 301 ; Asparagus^ 
302; Mushrooms, 301; Grape-vines by Eyes, 303; Rearing in Pots, 304, 
353 ; Fruit-trees, 302 ; Preservation of Fruit, 302 ; of Grapes, 304^ 305 ; the 
Potato, 318, 319, 320, 321 ; Radish, 324. 

Diseases of Plants. See under Botany. 



Plowing, 313 ; Draining with Fascines, 314 ; Allios of France, 829 ; Constit- 
uents of the Soil, 340,341; Peat, 340. 

Animal : From dead Animals, 322 ; Fish, 822, 342 ; Guano, 889, 342.— Veg- 
etable: Com, 325; Leached Ashes, 342.— Mineral : Sand Compost, 325; 
Phosphates, 326; Sulphate of Manganese, 827; Carbonate of Potash, 322, 
323 ; Effect on Plants, 323. 

Food of: Beet Leaves, 316; Grain for Hogs, 325; Poultiy, 332, 383; Fish, 
350 ; Preparation of Fodder, 835 ; Effect of, on Milk, 337.— Fattening, 330. 
— Frodncts of: Eggs, 333 ; Milk, 336; Butter, 343; Wool (washing), 338, 
345; Silk, 320.— Diseases and Treatment: Use of Carbolic Add, 339.— 
Physiology, 344, 346.— Management : Brooded Eggs, 332 ; Laying of Eggs, 
338; Silkworm, 320. 

Fartionlar Kinds : the Horse, Charlier Shoe for, 314 ^ Cattie, 335 ; Goat, 
347 ; Poultry, 332, 333 ; Fish, Nutrition of the young, 850 ; Oysters, 852. 


Rabbits, 332 H^rows, 332; Insects, 313, 331, 382, 383. 

Timber : Time to Cut, 315, 340 ; Seasoning, 315 ; Effect of Batties on, 314 ; 
Application of Arsenic, 324; Trees and Forests (see Botany and Horti- 
culture).— Food Plants : Potato, its Ash, 318 ; Feeding to Horses, 319 
Utilization of, 319 ; new Varieties, 320 ; Test of Value, 820 ; Diseases, 321 
the Mushroom, 301; the Radish, 321 ; the Vine-disease, 353.-011 Plants 
Sunflower, 816; Ground-nut, 317.— Fibrous Plant: Ramie, 318.— I)ye 
Madder, 317. 





See Mechanics and Engineering. 


Cleaning Marble, 376 ; Tightening Curtain Cord, 384 ; Fire-proofing Wood, 
376; Embossing Wood, 452; Mirrors, 509, 531 ; Soluble Glass for Floors, 
883 ; Insertion of Screws in Wood, 883 ; Paste for Wall-paper, 384 ; White- 
washing, 375.— Cements; Glue; Paste, etc., see Technology. 

Making Fires in India, 386 ; Gas Stove for Cooking, 372 ; Fastening Can- 
dles in Sockets, 381 ; Corn-cobs as Fuel, 388. 


Washing and Ironing Machines, 374 ; Washing Powders, 477 ; Purification 
of Water, 374 ; Removal of Stains and Spots, 377, 378, 379, 388; Bleaching, 
378 ; Soap, 386, for Wool, 477 ; Metallic Soap, 478. 

Freservatives : Ice, Natural and Artificial, 355, 358; Aseptin, 359; Car- 
bolic Acid, 359 ; Bisulphite of Lime, 387. — ^Animal. Meats: Concentrated, 
369 ; Preserving in Cans, 356 ; Pelouze Process, 358 ; Meat Extracts in 
Java, 357; Meat of diseased Cattle, BbS.-^Soups : Soup Tablets, 360 ; Tapi- 
oca Beef Bouillon, 360. — Fish: Keeping Salmon fresh, 356; Importance of 
killing for Food, 387. — MUk: Shipping of, 361. — Butter: Keeping, 361; 
Coloring for, S62,^Effg8 : Preservation of, 862; Oil from, 362. 

Vegetable. Flour: Keeping in Barrels, B62,— Bread: as Diet, 363; 
French preserved, 364. — Wine: Coloring Matter of, 364. — Beer: Preserva- 
tion of, 364; Bestoring sour, 365; from Bice, 366; Cleaning Bottles, 366; 
Tannin in, 3Q6,r^Vinegar : Pasteur Process, 367', from Unripe Fruit, 368 ; 
Qre^iing Pickles, 368. — Sugar: Cutting Machine, 372 ; see also Technology. 
— Vegetables: Desiccated, 370. — Fruits: Preserving Lemons, 869; Preserves, 
370; Theory of, 370; Sirups, 37L 


Preserving Corks against Acids, 884.'-Coiirt-pla8ter, d84.-~Bird-lime, 385.— 
Skinning Animals, 386. — ^Air-cushion for the Feet in Traveling, 886. — Oint- 
ment for Gun-barrels, 380. — limitation Cigar-boxes, 381.— Improved Envel- 
opes, 381.— Labels for Plants, 382.— Extiipatioa of Vermin: Cockroaches, 
382; White Ants, 383.— Petroleum for Dry Rot, 374— Salt for preserving 
Wood, 420. 



Least Action in Nature, 389 ; Rhysimetre, 389 ^ Wooden Water-pipes, 424. 

Katnral Stone : Blackening, 410 , Protecting by Salts of Copper, 420 ; Hy- 
drate of Silica, 411.— Artificial Stone: Coignet Concrete, 401; Victoria 
Stone, 405, 407; Apcenite,407; Iron Slag, 408, 462; Artificial Porphyry, 409 
Dinas Stone (fire-proof), 421.— Cement and Mortar : Sorel Cement, 402 
Portland Cement, 407 ; Hard Cement, 407 ; from Furnace Slag, 408, 410, 462 
Scott's Mortar, 403, 421 ; Improved Mortar, 405 ; for damp Places, 462 ; Fire- 


proof Composition, 523. — ^Iron : Forging large Masses, 391 ^ Improved Man- 
ufacture, 392; Rusting of. Cause, 302, Prevention, 391 ; Efifect of Cold on, 
894 ; Bessemer and Heaton Steel, 390 ; Siemens's, 390 ; Restoring burnt 
Steel, 390 ^Zinc : for Roofing, 395.— Wood : Preserving by Salt, 420 ; Pro- 
tection against Dry Rot, 374. 

ICasonry : Dampness in Walls, 400, in Tunnels, 401 ; Rendering Walls 
Water-tight, 408.— Paving : with Asphalt, 408. 

Canals : Ship Canal across Cape Cod, 422 ; across New Jersey, 423 ; the 
Isthmus of Darien, 143. — Ships : Inglefield's Steering Apparatus, 418 ; Coat- 
ing for Bottoms, 463.— Tides : Flux Motor, 418. 

Steam Engines : Jackets for Boilers, 398 ; Deposits in Boilers, 398. — ^Am- 
monia Engines, 531.— Railways : Single Rail, 396 ; Narrow Gauge, 396 ; 
Rollmg of Axles, 398; Testing of Axles, 393; Heating Cars, 395, 512 ; Lo- 
comotive Brake, 397.— Signals : Color for, 417; Intermitt^t Light, 526; 
Holmes's Signal light, 527.— Coal : Spontaneous Combustion, 399 ; Weath- 
ering, 399 ; Burning Dust, 401. 


Gunpowder: For killing Whales, 411 ; New kind, 413; Comparison with 
Steam, 416. — Dynamite and Dualin, 415; Dynamite and Gun-cotton, 415; 
in Well-boring, 415. — Gun*cotton:. Compressed, 416 ; Explosion of, 420 ; 
Rendering Non-explosive, 69. — Lithofracteur, 419. — ^Pertuiset Powder, 419, 
—Torpedoes, 447.— Explosive Balloons, 419. — Triangular Holes for Blast- 
ing, 422. 


Printing. Paper : Pearl-hardener, 481 ; Perforating Machinery, 493 ; 
Wood-pulp, 482, 484 ; from Oat refuse, 488 ; Wetting for Press, 487 ; Parch- 
ment, 488.— /nA;.- Red or Violet Fuchsine Varnish, 489; Drying, 493; Print- 
ing on Tin, 493 ; Stampuig Ink, 530 — Tifpe : Steel, 494.— Writing, Draw- 
ing, and Copying : Ink, 495 ; Removal of Blotches, 495 ; Secret Ink, 496 ; 
Fixing Crayons, 497; Copying Drawings, 499 ; Pictures, 497.— Engraving 
and Carving : by Sand Blast, 454 ; Action of hot Glass on Diamond, 455. — 
Modeling and Castii^^ : Gabbro Mass, 457 ; Mixing Alkaline Salts with 
Gypsum, 455 ; improve Mode of Casting, 455. — Photographing : on Wood 
for Engraving, 496 ; Copying Pictures by CoUodi(Hi, 497 ; Copying Draw- 
ings, 499; Glass for, 498; Tapioca Paper for, 498; Restoring faded Prints, 
503 ; Albcrttype Process, 500 ; Woodbury, 501. 


See Household Economy. 

Water-proofing: Starch, 478; Chinese Composition, 479; for Clothing, 
479; for Cloth,480; Hydrofugine, 517.— Fire-proofing, 375; Antiflamine, 
480; Solution for, 523. —Weaving: Improved Loom, 425; Smith's Loom, 
426 ; Weaving Stockings, 426.— Sizing : for Cotton Yam, 441 ; Cheap, 441 ; 
Substances used in, 460. — Starch : Potato, 434; Rice, 442; Water-proof, 


478.-4 Ummen : Preserved by Arsenious Add, 483 ; Removal of dried, 434 ; 
Lactarin a Substitute for, 435, from Blood, 451; from Fish Eggs, 520; Al- 
bumenOhaicoal, 489 — Gum : Dextrine and Gum Arabic, 457 ; Tragacanth, 
400 ; Prevention of Mould, 461. 

Dyeing and Coloring HaterialB : Aniline, Adulteration with Coal, 
427; with Sugar, 440; and Nickel, 516; Aniline Black, 520; Fluor-aniline, 
524; Aniline, Bronze, 437; Fuchsine, Adulteration of, 517; Madder, 317; 
Alizarine, 434, 516; Gallein,438; Carmine Purple, 428; African Red, 437; 
Saffranin, 436; Yellow, for Soap, 517; Zinc, Green, 515; Indigo: Treat- 
ment of, 429; Solvent for, 437; Testing the Purity of, 445; Dyeing with, 
445; Indigotine, 428 ; Ultramarine, 429 ; Tungsten Blue, 433; Blue Bronze, 
437; Molybdenum Blue, 437; Coerulm, 438; Prussian Blue, 442; Barytes 
White, 450; Fascin, 515; Aniline Black, 520. — Miscellaneous: Ink-plant 
of New Grenada, 379 ; Colors from Wild Plants, 380. 

Dyeing and Coloring Processes : Nature's Colors, 443 ; Aniline on Cotton, 
439, 440; on Wool, 449; Japanese Silks, 443; Yellow on Marble, 444; on 
Soap, 517; Artificial Flowers, 517; Walnut, on Wood, 529; Imitation of 
Mahogany, 530; Cements, 533; Bronzing Copper, 446; Wood, 452; Black- 
ening Copper, 447 ; Using Brass Kettles, 451. 

Bleaehing : Extraction of Aniline Colors, 430 ; Bleaching Straw, 448.— 
Cleaning. See Household Economy : Laundry. — ^Drying : Woolens, 427. 

Fabrics: Speckled Fabrics, 446 ; Grfege Yam, 480 ; Water-proofing (see 
above); Fire-proofing (see above). — Materials: Wool, Dyemg Aniline 
Blue, 449; Soap for Cleaning, 476; Utilizing Grease from, 477; Removing 
Grease from, 477; Adulteration of, 482.— Silk, Adulteration of, 481, 516.— 
Opossum Skins for Gloves, 373. 

Animal. Shim and Leather: Preparation of Hides, 528; Skin of Opos- 
sum, 373; Utilizing Scraps of Leather, 378, 487 ; largest Band, 506; Arti- 
ficial Shagreen, 507; Copying the Grain of Leather, 507; Greasing Leather, 
528.— TToo/. See Materials of C[othmg,-^Stlk : Adulteration of, 481, 516. 
— Giue, Gelatine: Improved Process of Makings 521; Tungstic, 458; 
Gilders', 460; Water-proof, 461 ; for fastening Parchment Paper, 461; Gel- 
atine from Bones, 460.— //brw; Blackening, 449.— 6?»7 : Bird, 468; Whale, 

Vegetable. Rubber: Imitation of, 460, 464; Carbohc Acid for Hose, 
508; Utilizing old, 525. — Gums: Gum Arabic and Dextrine, 457; Traga- 
canth, 460; Prevention of Mould, 461. — Spirits: Preservation of Wine by 
Tannin, 505; of Beer, 364: Alcohol, Acidification of, by Lycopodium, 489 ; 
from Lichens, 504 ; FUtermg, 505.— (?tfe, etc, : Olive, 469 ; Fusel, 528 ; Tur- 
pentine, 468; Theory of Boiled, 472. — Sugar: Extracting Juice from the 
Cane, 490, 491 ; Diffusive Process, 490 ; Analysis of Sirups, 491 ; Refining, 
492. — Wood: Bleaching, 448; Bronzing, 452. — Straw: Bleaching, 448. — 
Ebony from Sea-weed, 463 ; Colors from Wild Plants, S80,— Fibres : Ramie, 
318, 482; Prize for Rhea Machine, 487; Apocynum, 488; New Zealand 
Flax, 483; Baobab Bark, 482; Cotton, utilizing, 486 4 Tension of, 486 ; Wood 
Pulp, 482, 484, 485 ; Cattell's Method of Preparing, 484. 

MineraL Metals : Preserving polished Surfaces, 453 ; Polishing Pow- 
der, 454; Enameled Iron Slates, 457, Glass: Engraving by Sand Blast, 


464 ; Action when Hot on Diamond, 456 ; Polishing, 628.— ^tone, Iron, etc 
See Constracting Materialfl; Mechanics; Engineering.— Prfrofewm: Deo- 
dorizing, 469 { Eectifying, 474 ; Benzole, 624^— /oe .• Artifidal Freezing Mix- 
tures, 609, 618 ; Tosselli Machine, 618; Ck)st of, 614.— Corftoiwc Acid Gas: 

Purifying, 625. 

Mixed and IfiseellaildOiiB. Oils : Lubricating, 467.— Foes .• Extraction 
of, 474.— Paraj^ne.- Refining, 474.— -4 <tte«»«: Uniting Metals, 458 ; Rub- 
ber to Metal or Wood, 459 ; Cement for BotUe-oorks, 460 ; Tenacious, 534 ; 
Glycerine, 534; to reast Sulphuric Acid, 684; from Soluble Glass, 533 — 
Glue. See Animal Products.— Varnishes and Lacquers t Tar Varnish, 468 ; 
Transparent Green, 478 ; Lacquering, 467; French SUver Lac, 625.— Patnte : 
White Lead, 464; from Galena, 472; Zinc, 470, 471 ; Zinc Water, 471; So- 
luble Glass for, 472; Cleaning, 470.— Car6o?»c Acidi in Paste, 670; in Tan- 
ning, 606; in Rubber Hose, 608; Antidote to, 625; Deodorizing, 625.— ^i- 
chromate of Potash : Rise in Price, 618 ; Substitute for, 519. 

UtHizing watte Producta: Cotton Seed, 485; Cotton Fibre, 486; Leather 
Scraps, 487; old Rubber, 526.— Adulteratioiis : of Silk by other Fabrics, 
481, 616 ; of Paper, 481, 482 ; of Wool, 482 ; of Wine, 489 ; of Colors, 427, 440, 
617 ; Imitation of Human Hair, 374.— Antiseptics : Carbolic Acid in Paste, 
670 ; in Tanning, 606 ; in Rubber Hose, 508 ; for decayed Flesh, 629. 

Weighing :. Duckham's Self-indicator, 466.— Cleaning : Lacquer from Iron, 
467 ; Paint, 470.— Preserving t Plaster against Vinegar Fumes, 460 ; Ships* 
Bottoms, 463.— Fainting. See Paints, Varnishes, etc ; Blackening Copper, 
447.— Bronzing: Copper, 446; Wood, 452.— Tanning : Carbolic Acid in, 
506; Carbonic Acid in, 606.— Lighting and Heating: Objections to the 
Use of Oxygen in, 510 ; Zinc Ethyl, 511 ; Carbo-oxygen Lamp, 611 ; Phos- 
phorus Matches, 614.— Grinding and Polishing: Artificial Grindstones, 
633.— Plating, Smelting, and Bedadng. See Metallurgy.— Miscellane- 
ous.- Hydro-extractor, 604; Infusible Crucibles, 454 ; Enameling Slates 
with Iron, 457 ; new Enamel, 458. 



Glyconin, 652. — Cod-liver Oil : removing Taste from, 556 ; Gutter from, 559 ; 
with Chloral Hydrate, 565. — ^Phosphate of Lime, 557.— Permanganate of 
Potash, 588, 689.— Glycerine, 558.— Cundurango, 579, 595, 596.— Carbolic 
Acid: for Wounds, 572; in Snake Poisonings, 573; Paper, 571 ; Antidote 
to, 564. — ^Chloral Hydrate : with Cod-liver Oil, 565 ; Mode of Administer- 
ing, 567 ; in Sea-sickness, 567. — ^Metachloral, 567. — ^Hydramyle, 566. — Chlo- 
ride of iEthylide, 566 Chloromethyl, 566.— Buhsa, 668.— Apomorphia, 568. 

— ^Pepsin, Liebreich^s, 574. — ^Codeia, 576. — Bromide of Potassium, Action of, 
675 ; Poisonous Qualities of, 576. — Coffee, 549. — Quinine, Action of, 585.— 
Eucalyptus, 586, 689.— Aconite, 590.— Meat Extracts, 594 ; Carmine in, 593. 


Nervous System: Somnambulism, 555; new Affection, 656; Sun-stroke, 
556; StVitus's Dance, 558; Hysteria, 666; Sea-sickness, 667 — Catarrh: 
Permanganate of Potash for, 559, 588.— Croup : Glycerine for, 558.— Small- 


poz: Treatment, 581, 583; in England, 582; in Africans, 582; Bevaccina. 
tion, 581%ClLolera, 584.— Flatnlency, 590.— Fever : Eucalyptus a Rem- 
edy for, 586, 589 ; Elimination of Nitrogen, 589 ; Scarlet Fever, 580.— Anses- 
thetics: Hydramyl,566; Chloride of u£thylide, 566; Chloromethyl, 566.— 
Emetics : Apomorphia, 568.— AntLdotes : Bone Black, 563 ; Carbolic Acid) 
. 564; Phosphorus, 564. — ^Hsrpodermio Ixijectloii: Ammonia Injection for 
Chloroform Poison, 560. — PoiBons: Animal Emanations, 562; Charcoal 
Fumes, 562 ; Coloring Matters, 561, 565 ; Serpent-bite, 573. 577; Acorns for 
Cattle, 564; Calomel for Mice, 564 ; Vegetable Oils, 565.— Drowning, 550. 
— XiflCellaneouB ! Freckles, 553; Tattoo Marks, 607; Hair Disease, 554; 
Bone-felon, 555; Wax in the Ear, 551 ; Styptic Cotton, 551 ; Styptic Paper, 
551 ; Lead-foil for Wounds, 552 ; Acupuncture of the Aorta, 552. 

Water: Keeping Sweet by Iron, 535; Freeing from Gypsum, 536; Hard 
versus Soft, 537, 538; Corrosion of Lead-pipes, 561 ; Tyndall on Purity of, 
537; Fungi in, 537.— Oases: Waste of Furnaces, 539; Consumption of 
Noxious, 539. — Dust : Inhalation by Workmen, 540 ;' as a Ferment, 540 ; 
Tyndall's Respirators, 541 ; Watering Streets with Saline Solutions, 546. — 
Germs : Fungi in Drinking-water, 535 ; Temperature needed to kill, 545 ; 
Bacteria and Fungi, 268; Atmospheric Germs, Theory of, 161 ; Tyndall on, 
542, 544.— Sewage, 535; lieumur Method of, 587; Utilization of, 588.— 
Pood: Wheat versus Flour, 647; Proper Ration of, 594; Buttermilk for 
Infants, 594.— Ventilation : of Rooms, 542; by Musquito Curtains, 543.— 
Antisepties: di£ferent Kinds, 570; Carbolic Acid: in Tanning, 571; for 
Wounds, 672; not perfect, 673; Carbolic Acid Paper, 571; Chloralum, 569, 
570.— Deodorizers: Spongy Iron, 551.— Adnlterations: of Milk, 548.— 
Xiicellaneoas: Effect on Health of Sewing-machine, 555, 558; Proper 
Colors for Candies, 561 ; Geology and Hygiene, 546 ; Cruelty to Animals : 
Pegging Lobsters' Claws, 553. 


Institutions, etc. : Geneva: Natural History Society, 597; London: Brit- 
ish Museum, new Site for the, 600; new Buildings, 600; Crystal Palace 
Aquarium, 609 ; Royal Society : Wollaston Medal, 603 ; Science and the 
British Government, 602 ; Chicago Academy of Sciences, Destruction of 
the, 609 ; Vermont : Archives of Science, 604. — ^Individuals : Copernicus, 
Celebration of the Birth-day of, 608; Deaths. See Necrology, page 611 ; 
Visit to the United States of Gwyn Jeffreys, 608.— Miscellaneous : Inter- 
national Exchanges, 607 ; Scientific Inactivity in England, 606 ; Psychic 
Force, 603, 608, 610; Disasters to Whalers, 604; Fishery Commissioners, 
605, 606 ; Increased Explosiveness of Bodies, 599 ; Units of Force and En- 
ergy, 599. 







THE YEAR 1871. 

The year that has closed has not been remarkably fruit- 
ful in the way of great discoveries in science, although much 
progress has been made in filling out the gaps in our knowl- 
edge of many subjects. We propose here to take up the 
several departments in succession, and to indicate as briefly 
as possible what appears to be most worthy of note, especially 
so far as the United States is concerned. 

The most interesting among the researches in Astronomy 
during the year have been those devoted to comets and the 
corona. The successful observation of four total eclipses in 
as many consecutive years is something without precedent 
in the history of Astronomy. The first eclipse, that of 1868, 
showed that the protuberances were composed mainly of hy- 
drogen gas. The eclipse observed in this country in. 1869 
showed that the corona was at least in great part gaseous, 
but did not indicate that the gas was identical with any 
known terrestrial substance. Owing to the unfavorable 
weather which extended over the whole line of the eclipse of 
1870 in the Mediterranean, little more was done on the coro- 
na than to confirm this discovery, and to show that the now 
celebrated " green line," by which the gas was indicated, ex- 
tended to a distance of fifteen or twenty minutes from the 
*un — more than half the diameter of the latter. Perhaps the 
most important discovery made during this eclipse was one 
by Professor C. A. Young, who observed in Spain. At the in- 
stant of commencement of totality he saw all the dark lines 
of the fading spectrum he had been watching suddenly re- 
versed, so as to show bright on a dark ground. This appear- 
ance lasted only one or two seconds. The conclusion drawn 
from this appearance is that the entire surface of the sun is 
covered with a thin layer or glowing atmosphere composed 
of the vapors of all the substances known to exist in the sun. 



The accounts of the recent Indian eclipse (December 11, 
1871) are as yet very meagre, and do not indicate that any 
thin<y has been done beyond confirming the former discover- 
ies. It is said that the spectroscope has indicated the exist- 
ence of water at a great height above the sun, but this was 
done by Professor Winlock, in Spain, in 1870. It is also said 
that the reversal of the bright lines seen by Professor Young 
has been confirmed. 

Intimately connected with the question of the corona and 
protuberances is that of the temperature of the sun, to which 
an impulse has been given by the researches of P^re Secchi. 
Starting from the observed rise of temperature produced by / 
the solar rays, this eminent physicist computed that the tem- 
perature of the incandescent surface of the sun could not be 
less than 10,000,000 degrees ! The French physicists, start- 
in o* from the very same data, find a temperature of only a 
few thousand degrees — no higher, in fact, than what can be 
produced by artificial means at the surfajce of^the earth. The 
difference arises from the difference of the supposed law of 
increase of radiation with the temperature. P^re Secchi sup- 
poses the radiation to be exactly proportional to the temper- 
ature, an hypothesis contradicted by experiment ; while the 
French start from the law of Dulong and Petit, which is 
founded on actual observations. They have, therefore, the 
best of the argument. 

The return of two periodic comets, those of Encke and Tut- 
tle, during the year, has led to a complete confirmation of the 
observations made in previous years with the spectroscope 
on other comets, namely, that these bodies give a spectrum 
of bright lines, like glowing gas, and very closely resembling 
that of olefiant gas. But no one has yet explained how a red^ 
hot gas can move through the planetary spaces without either 
cooling off or expanding indefinitely by its own elastic force, 
so that, in fact, this discovery has left the exact nature of 
comets a greater mystery than ever. The spectroscope has 
also revealed atmospheres of great absorbing power around 
the planets Uranus and Neptune. It is not found possible to 
identify them with any known terrestrial substancie, but it 
seems not unlikely that carbonic acid is an important con- 

There is now some prospect that American astronomers 



will take a prominent part in the observations of the transit 
of Venus which is to take place in 1874, In the winter of 
1871 Congress authorized the formation of a commission to 
make the necessary arrangements, and expend any money 
that might be appropriated for this purpose. This commis- 
sion consists of Admiral Sands and Professors Peirce, Henry, 
Newcomb, and Harkness. It only remains for Congress to 
furnish the requisite means for organizing the expeditions. 

Meteorology y in its practical bearings, has been greatly ad- 
vanced in the New World by the operations of the United 
States Signal Corps, under General Myer, this branch of the 
public service not limiting itself, as heretofore, to the collect- 
ing and reporting information by telegraph of the condition 
and changes of atmospheric phenomena in different parts 
of the country, but now furnishing, in addition, forecasts of 
the weather, which are intended to indicate the probabilities 
for the coming twenty-four hours. These predictions have 
proved to be singularly accurate, and are now greatly relied 
upon by all classes of the community for influencing the op- 
erations of the day. The announcements are made by tele- 
graph to all parts of the country, and when any severe storm 
is anticipated, the fact is published by means^ of signals over 
the greater part of the sea-coast and lakes of the country. 
The operations of the same corps on the summit of Mount 
Washington during the past winter have tended to throw a 
great deal of light upon the condition and movements of the 
higher currents of air. 

The Smithsonian Institution and the Medical Department, 
of the United States Army have prosecuted their systems of 
meteorological observations during the year, the former also 
distributing a large number of rain-gauges, and the latter con- 
tinuing to improve the character of the instruments. 

Tlie climatological condition of America during the year 
has exhibited certain marked peculiarities ; among others, 
unusual prevaletfce of rain during the spring and summer on 
the west coast of South America, a region previously almost 
unacquainted with this phenomenon, and of deep snows in the 
Rocky Mountains ofthe United States in the ensuing winter. 
- The government meteorological establishments of Europe 
have also continued their system of operations, somewhat 
on the plan of that ofthe United States, but on a much small- 


er scale respectively, and have aided in obtaining accurate 
generalizations in regard to the laws of meteorology. Among 
these results may be mentioned a work by Mr. Lay upon the 
law of the winds, which has excited much attention. 

The science of Terrestrial Physics has been enriched by 
the papers upon ocean currents by Dr. Carpenter, Mr. James 
Croll, and others. The views of these gentlemen are, how- 
ever, widely diverse in regard to the cause of this phenome- 
non, Dr. Carpenter taking the ground that the currents both 
of the Atlantic and of the Mediterraniean are produced by a 
difference in the specific gravity of the different parts of the 
mass, while Mr. Croll believes that they result from the influ- 
ence of the surface winds. 

Pendulum experiments in India would seem to show that 
the density of the earth at the surface diminishes as we pro- 
ceed farther from the shore to the higher elevations of the 
mountain ranges. 

In the department of ElecPricity and Magnetism we have 
communications upon the action of electricity upon gases 
traversed by electric currents ; on the origin of celestial pos- 
itive electricity by Becquerel, who maintains that this pro- 
ceeds from the sun, which, being emitted through the solar 
spots, and permeating all space, gives rise to such phenomena 
as the aurora, etc. 

As far as concerns Theoretical and Applied Chemistry^ im- 
portant modifications in chemical notation and nomenclature 
have risen to vex chemists and trouble the declining years 
.of the pioneers of the science. It is the fashion to make sug- 
gestions and introduce novelties in modern chemistry, and 
there is great need of a master mind like Lavoisier or Berze- 
lius to systematize the language, and once more bring order 
out of chaos. 

The time-saving element has entered here, and it is pro- 
posed, in the naming of chemical compounds, where formerly 
the adjective preceded the noun, to invent one word that 
would express the sense ; thus, instead of the " sulphate of 
the protoxide of iron" or the " protosulphate of iron," it is 
proposed to substitute the expression "ferrous sulphate;" 
and where there are various' oxygen compounds of an ele- 
ment, to employ suitable Latin terms, as ferrous, ferric, cu- 
prous, cupric, etc. 


' In the writing of formula there is the same revolution, with 
this difference, that the artistic element has been brought into 
play, and a great variety of patterns now adorn our text- 
books. Graphic formula were originally inserted for abbre- 
viation and perspicuity ; they have now become voluminous, 
and as unintelligible as the ancient signs of the alchiemist. 
If we were to define the characteristicffeatures of the present 
state of chemical science we should undoubtedly say that it 
was the general tendency to synthetic methods. 

This condition of things is the natural outgrowth of the 
discussions about atoms, molecules, types, and graphic form- 
ula. The chemist imagined certain reactions, and in many 
instances has had the happiness to see them confirmed. As 
soon as the way was pointed out, and the first barriers bro- 
ken, the rush of chemists to the new fields of research was 
great, and at the present time how to create by synthesis oc- 
cupies the majority of the leading investigators of the world. 

Berzelius believed that chemical forces could not effect or- 
ganic synthesis, and that when such changes occurred they 
were due to the agency of vital force. This theory was ac- 
cepted as correct, and synthetical chemistry was very little 
studied; we now find it overthrown, and even the fats have 
been artificially prepared by Berthelot. Theoretical chem- 
istry has therefore made great progress during the year, as 
the number of workers has been more numerous than ever 
before, and out of the theories advanced by chemists have 
grown important practical applications. The whole subject 
of bleaching, so happily founded by Berth oUet, has undergone 
a great change. Instead of chlorine, oxygen is supposed to 
do the work, and this renders it possible to introduce hew 
agents. Accordingly, we find the permanganate of potash, 
a compound rich in oxygen, actually largely employed for 
bleaching. Ozone ako receives application for the same pur- 
pose, and diligent search is made for a cheap method of its 

The natural -corollary of bleaching is disinfecting, and here 
we observe the introduction of several new agents, the per- 
manganate of potash, ozone, carbolic acid, and several metal- 
lic salts. In this connection we must not fail to mention the 
increased attention bestowed upon dry earth as a powerful 
fixative agent, and its introduction into closets out of sani- 


tary and economical considerations. Until recently a sub- 
stance originally known as an incrustation upon the sands in 
the vicinity of the Temple of Jupiter Ammon, and hence call- 
ed Ml/ ammoniac, was the principal source of the small amount 
of volatile alkali required in medicine and the arts. A great 
change has recently taken place in the commercilil value of 
this article. AmmoniH is now largely consumed in the arti- 
ficial production of ice, as a motive power, as a fire extin- 
guisher, as a fertilizer, and in numerous arts and industries. 
Its enormous production from gas-house liquors, &om the 
spent vapors of the lagoons of Tuscany, from the residues of 
the refinery of Chil6 saltpetre, from crude borax, and from vol- 
canic incrustations, is one of the features of modern industry. 

The study and practical application of the products derived 
from the distillation of coal^ wood, and petroleum is still pros- 
ecuted with success, and so much literature has accumula- 
ted in this branch of chemistry that a systematic and classi- 
fied list is greatly to be desired. The aniline industry has 
increased in proportion, and we have new artificial colors to 
be added each year. Artificial alisarine would seem to be an 
accomplished fact, and the only vegetable dye which remains 
for the chemist to imitate is indigo. Carbolic acid, paraffine, 
and glycerine are becoming familiar to every body, and their 
uses have been greatly extended during the year. 

We have not the space to enumerate all that has been dis- 
covered in coal-tar and petfoleam, and must content ourselves 
with the above reference to this brandi of industry. 

In the working of ores and metals many changes have been 
introduced, and metals which for their rarity and cost were 
formerly classed among the luxuries, are now of common use, 
and great aids to the comforts of civilization. Among these 
we may count the common production and use of zinc; the 
increased production of aluminium and magnesium; the 
cheapening of iron and steel by the Bessemer process ; the 
free use of nickel for plating ; the appearance of manganese 
upon the stage to be alloyed with copper, and the cheap man- 
ufacture of sodium as compared with former price& The 
disintegration of lead ores by zinc has be^i developed and 
applied within a recent period. In all metallurgical operar 
tioDs there has been hitherto a serious waste in the accuxnu- 
lations of the fines and in the slags. Much of this loss is 


now done away with by a reconstruction of the chimney- 
stacks, by modifications in the form of the fumace, and by 
the use of the slags for many purposes. There have been 
few instances of progress of more importance than the man- 
agement of cinders and slags as now conducted in Europe. 
What was formerly thrown away is now sold at a profit, and 
a corresponding deduction in the cost of metals has been ef- 

In the United States the manufacture of cryolite glass bids 
fair to become of considerable importance. The material 
made from cryolite is found to possess many advantages over 
porcelain, especially for the use of the photographer, and the 
demand for articles made according to the new process is 
said to be greater than the supply. The use of albumen as 
a substitute for blood in the refining of sugar is an improve- 
ment worthy of note, and has occasioned an increased de- 
mand for the raw material. Albumen is now extensively 
made from blood, fish -roe and wild birds' eggs, and in Al- 
satia hens' eggs are in great demand. The sugar refiner, the 
photographer, and the aniline dyer consume unprecedented 
quantities of albumen at the present time. 

Nitro-glycerine has been modified in its physical form by 
the introduction of the explosives called dynamite and dual- 
in, which are less dangerous in their ti*ansportation, while be- 
ing quite as effective in execution. The manufacture of ox- 
ygen on a commercial scale can hardly be pronounced a suc^ 
cess, even at this late day. The three leading methods now 
employed use the atmosphere as the source of supply, and 
employ manganese and soda, or chloride of copper, or water, 
as the agents by which the oxygen is detained and subse- 
quently collected for use. The direct manufacture of chlo- 
rine from hydrochloric acid, as accomplished in England, is a 
step in advance of rare value. It will reduce the cost of 
bleaching powders, and, as a consequence, give us our cloth- 
ing, our paper, and our books at a much lower rate, and is 
consequently very properly regarded as one of the most im- 
portant technical improvements of the year. 

The interestsiof humanity have been promoted by the in- 
troduction of condensed food, and new articles of diet, the in- 
vention of which was a growth of the late disastrous war in 
France. There has not been sufficient time for all of the im- 


provements to be made known, but we shall in the end find 
ourselves richer for the hard labor of the French chemists 
during their time of need. A marked change has taken place 
in the source of potash, iodine, and brominel The Stassfurt 
mines now yield the greater part of the potash and bromine 
salts required by the world, and the Chile saltpetre appears 
likely to compete with sea-weed as a store-house for the ex- 
traction of iodine. 

Such are some of the most notable indications of progress 
in the department of Chemistry, the details of which will be 
found embodied, in a greater or less degree, in our annual re- 
p6rt for the year. 

In the departments of Geology and Mineralogy the princi- 
pal progress in America has been in the way of information 
respecting the geology of particular sections of the country 
by the publication of various reports, such as the explora- 
tions ofClarenceKing,Dr.Hayden,Professor Marsh, and oth- 
ers, prosecuted over a wide range of country ; by the reports 
of geologists of certain states, as those of Michigan, Ohio, 
New Jersey, etc. 

From Dr. Hay den we have a detailed report of operations 
in Wyoming Territory, and partial accounts, to be completed 
hereafter, of the structure of the wonderful regions in the 
vicinity of the head waters of the Yellowstone, where, in an 
area of about fifty by sixty miles, we have one of the most re- 
markable exhibitions of hot springs, geysers, mud volcanoes, 
etc., to be found on the face of the globe. 

Papers by Dr.T. Sterry Hunt on the geognosy of the Ap- 
palachians and the origin of crystalline rocks ; by Professor 
Dana on the glacial system of the New England States and 
Canada ; accounts of the geology of the diamond fields in 
Africa, and new views in regard to the geology of New Zea- 
land, are all in the list of conmiunications for the year. 

The visit of the Swedish expedition to Greenland for the 
purpose of bringing back a large number of meteorites has 
been crowned with success, and a number were brought home, 
one of them of the enormous weight of over 40,000 pounds. 
Unfortunately, these giant specimens have been found very 
difficult of preservation, exposure to the air of cities seeming 
to cause them to crumble into fragments, and to render futile 
all means employed to prevent their entire disintegration. 


The Geographical inquiry during the year has been large- 
ly directed to the north polar region, and the well-appoint- 
ed American expedition under Captain Hall may be consid- 
ered as taking the lead in point of prominence. Accompa- 
nied by Dr. Bessels, of Heidelberg, an experienced arctic ex- 
plorer, as the chief of the scientific branch of the expedition, 
Captain Hall left the United States in July last provided with 
every appliance that could be thought of for facilitating the 
object of his mission. The latest advices from Greenland 
showed that the whole party was in good spirits and emu- 
lous to solve the problem of polar search. The autumn of 
1872 will probably bring us word as to the actual results. 

Another impoitant. expedition, in its indications of future 
successes, was that of the Ice-Bear^ under Messrs. Payer and 
Weyprecht. These gentlemen, in a small vessel of only sixty 
tons, succeeded in penetrating to a high northern latitude, 
and in finding a sea free from ice as far as the eye could reach. 
They were apparently only prevented from sailing many de- 
grees farther north from the apprehension of ice packing be- 
hind theia and barring their return. 

Other expeditions of less moment, in the regions to the 
north of Europe and Asia, have added a variety of informa- 
tion to that already possessed, and have furnished data for 
selecting the plans and routes of several great national expe- 
ditions that will doubtless start early in the coming summer 
— one of them German,, and another Russian. 

Much has been added to our previous knowledge of vari- 
ous portions of Asia and Africa, although in the latter coun- 
try the principal interest has centred in regard to the actual 
condition of Dr.. Livingstone. The partial efforts to deter- 
mine his whereabouts, and to extend any needed assistance 
to him, are to be supplemented by a more extended move- 
ment now in progress in Great Britain. The movements of 
Sir Samjiel Baker in hid exploration of the Nile arc watched 
with great interest, on account of the enormous scale of his 
labors, prosecuted under the direct patronage of the authori- 
ties of Egypt. Reports of progress from Dr. Schweinfurth 
and Dr. Nachtigal are presented in Petermann's Mittheilnn- 
iren. The rush of visitors to the diamond fields of South 
Africa has also tended greatly to extend our knowledge of 
the geography and geology of that part of the world. The 



recently published explorations in Madagascar, by Grandi* 
dier, have Med out a large gap in the history of that country. 

In our own country an unusual amount of exploration has 
been prosecuted in the Far West, the expeditions of Mr. 
Clarence King, Dr. Hayden, Professor Marsh, Captain Powell, 
Lieutenant Wheeler, and others, contributing to swell the 
general result. 

Although no special work of note has been done in Central 
America during the year, the reports of the expeditions to the 
Isthmus of Darien and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec have been 
published in brief, and are in course of preparation on a more 
elaborate scale. Professor Hartt has made a further explora- 
tion of Brazil, in continuation of several preceding it, and has 
brought back valuable collections of natural history, and 
many notes upon the languages and the ethnology of the 

Quite a number of parties have been engaged in prosecut- 
ing inquiiies in regard to temperature, currents, and organic 
life in the deep seas, the most important expedition being 
that of the Hassler^ which left Boston in December last, with 
•Professor Agassiz and a party of specialists on board, and 
which expects to prosecute its labors all the way to Califor- 
nia by the way of the Straits of Magellan. Advices have 
been received from the party as far as Pemambuco, showing 
already a gratifying amount of success in their mission. Oth- 
er local explorations of the same kind have been conducted by 
the Flora and other vessels on the coast of Great Britain ; 
by the Porcupine in the Mediterranean ; in the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence by Mr. Whiteaves ; and in the Vineyard Sound by 
Professoi* Baird, Professor Verrill, and their associates ; while 
similar labors were prosecuted by Professor S. J. Smith in 
Lake Superior, and by Mr. J. W. Milner in Lake Michigan. 

The usual amount of activity has been exhibited in the way 
of research in Zoology, both general and special ; and not 
only have numerous specimens been described, but many im- 
portant facts in regard to the habits and peculiarities, physi- 
ological relationships, etc., have been announced. The pages 
of the present Record must be referred to for fuller informa- 
tion on this subject, as it is difficult to make a selection of 
what is really considered as most important. We may men- 
tion, however, that the subject of Darwinism has elicited a 


great deal of diseussioD, and excited much commendation as 
well as animadversion. The tendency, however, appears more 
and more decided on. the part of naturalists to adopt this 
doctrine, and there are now few oaturalists of emineijce who 
have not given in theii* adhesion to the proposition that all 
organisms are the more or less modified derivatives from ante- 
cedent forms. One of the most notable works in this field 
published in 1871 was "On the Genesis of Species," by Mr. 
Mivart. While Mr. Mivart opposes "Darwinism" proper, or 
Mr. Darwin's explanation of the modus operandi of evolution 
by natural selection, or rather contends that the operation 
of natural selection is much more limited than Mr. Darwin 
believed, he accepts fully the doctrine of evolution per se. 
While acknowledging, however, that man's body has been 
developed from a simian form, he believes that his intellectual 
and spiritual pre-eminence are due to direct creative inter- 
vention. The tendency of the German naturalists, on the 
other hand, is toward a more full acceptance of the views of 
Mr. Darwin, some undertaking to carry them to conclusions 
beyond what was contemplated by the author. 

Among the points of special interest may also be mentioned 
the discovery, by Dr. Greef, of a gigantic fresh-water Bhizo- 
pod of very low organization, allied in some respects to ^a- 
thybiuSj and named Pelobius by its discoverer. An announce- 
ment by Mr. Grace Calvert that the temperature of boiling 
water does not kill many forms of microscopic organization, 
and that it sometimes requires a heat of over 400° to accom- 
plish this, has a very important bearing upon the question 
of spontaneous generation and sanitary precaution. 

Other communications worthy of mention are those of Dr. 
Gtother on Ceratodtis, the remarkable amphibian-like fish of 
New Zealand ; of Dr. J. E. Gray on the skulls of the tortoises ; 
of W. K. Parker on the development of the skull of the frog 
and the eel ; of Prof Cope on the fishes of the Ambyacu, etc. 

In J^otany and MorticuUure we have to record the appear- 
ance of the valuable report by Mr. Sereno Watson on the 
plants of Western North America, collected and observed by 
him during the expedition of Mr. Clarence King. Nothing 
of the kind has appeared in the United States for many years 
of equal value. The ravages of the Griipe-vine Louse (Phyl- 
looceta vqstatrix) still excite much alarm in Europe, as in the 


rapid spread of the infection it threatens at no distant period 
to annihilate the wine - producing interest of Europe. As 
might be expected, numerous projects have been proposed 
for remedying the evil, one of the latest being that of so ar- 
ranging the vineyards as to allow of their being flooded with 
water to a depth of several inches, which, it is asserted, will 
entirely destroy that form of Aphis inhabiting the roots. 

In Agriculture and Rural Economy generally announce- 
ments are numerous, and bear upon a great variety of top- 
ics, both general and special. Investigations upon the ger- 
mination of seeds, the influence of soils upon the growth of 
plants, the function of nitrous acids in soils, the eflect of the 
salts of potash on plants, the mode of regulating and hatch- 
ing silk-worm eggs, the extraction of ammonia from the at- 
mosphere by humus, are among the number. For many valu^ 
able communications in this department we refer to the An- 
nual Report and the Monthly Notices of the Agricultural De- 
partment at Washington, which has also published a quarto 
volume upon certain diseases of cattle, that will doubtless 
prove of great benefit to the community. 

In JPiscicuUure great activity has been manifested both in 
America and Europe. The celebrated establishment at Hu- 
ningue, in Alsace, having been recommenced under German 
auspices, bids fair to improve upon its previous administiti- 
tion. A national society has been formed in Grermany look- 
ing toward progress in the same direction. In our own coun- 
try the fishery commissioners of the sevei*al states have la- 
bored earnestly in the discharge of their duty, and the meas- 
ures adopted by them to stock certain streams with salmon, 
shad, herring, etc., have proved highly successful, so that we 
have every reason to expect in a few years a restoration of 
fish in many parts of the country to their original abundance. 
The most striking experiments of the season have been that 
of supplying the Delaware River with salmon, and the Sac- 
ramento of California with shad. The former unfortunately 
proved a failure for a time ; thiB latter, however, it is believed, 
has been a success. 

The most startling achievement in the department ot'Me^ 
c/ianics and Engineering for the year is the completion of 
the Mount Cenis Tunnel, commenced in August, 1857, and 
finished, as far as the piercing of the mountain was concern- 


ed, on the 26th of December, 1870, although it was not actu- 
ally used for the passage of trains until within the past year. 
It may be a matter of interest to mention that the total 
length of the tunnel is 13,365 yards, the highest summit of 
the Alps above it being 5307 feet. 

Various forms of artificial stone have been brought to no- 
tice, some intended to resist air and water, while others are 
recommended for furnaces and other localities requiring fire- 
proof material. Among them may be mentioned the selenitic 
mortar Of Colonel Scott, the Sorel cement, the Coignet con- 
crete, the Dinas stone, etc. 

The dangers of railway traveling have been alleviated by 
the introduction into practical use of various forms of brake, 
in which air and steam are used as the agents to stop trains 
at high speed in a very short time. Improved indicators of 
velocity have also been devised. 

The idea of constructing railways of narrow . gauges for 
mountainous regions and those having a comparatively lim- 
ited traffic has been a popular one, and numerous lines have 
been commenced both in this country and in the Old World. 
The average width selected seems to be about three feet six 

The views of experts in regard to the supposed deteriora- 
ting effect of cold upon iron seem to have undergone a change 
from the results of the experiments of Mr. Brockbank and 
Mr. Joule, of Manchester. From these it would seem that 
iron is actually made stronger instead of weaker by cold, 
while the unmistakable fact of the greater tendency of; iron 
rails, wheels, and axles to break during cold weather is ex- 
plained Under the theory that the frozen soil is rendered 
more rigid and unyielding, and that the shock of impact is 
consequently, much greater than where the soil possesses the 
elasticity attendant upon warmer weather. 

The war between France and Germany, happily termina- 
ted during the past year, furnished an opportunity for test- 
ing various forms of military weapons, every variety having 
been brought into use and experimented upon during the 
campaign. The mitrailleuse and the Gatling gun, while not 
possessing the power of attack and defense, attributed to 
them by their advocates, have yet proved serviceable in cer- 
tain conditions, and are likely to be adopted in future war- 


fare. The needle-gun of Germany was found very much in- 
ferior to the Chassepot of France, and both are likely to be 
superseded by the breech-loaders of American construction. 
The drift of opinion among experts as to the comparative 
merits of breech and muzzle loading cannon seems rather to 
have been settled in favor of the latter, ^uch improvements 
in the construction of gun-carriages as that of Captain Mon- 
criefT and others doing away to a considerable extent with 
the supposed superiority of the former. 

It would require a volume to mention all the discoveries 
and valuable applications in the department of Technology, 
For this we must refer to such contemporaries as the Scien- 
tific American, to the Journal of the Franklin Institute, and 
other standard chronicles in this branch of science. Among 
a fewy however, that occur to us, we may especially name 
the method of engraving on stone, glass, and even wood,by 
means of the continued action of an air-blast of sand, the re- 
sults as to effect, and the economy of time and expense, being 
quite^marvelous. » 

The applications of sundry new dyes to practical purposes 
have been very numerous, and greatly to the advantage of 
the dyer's art. Among these may be included artificial ali- 
zarine, which is now believed to be really superior to the na- 
tive madder. The methods of extracting aniline dyes from 
all kinds of fabrics, as announced by Mr. Reimann, promise to 
be of great practical moment. 

Photographic processes have been improved, especially in 
connection with the methods of reproducing photographic 
pictures by such processes as those of Messrs. Albert, Ed- 
wards, Woodbury, and others. Establishments have been 
opened in the United States for working under their patents, 
and bid fair to meet with a measure of success. 

An announcement of much practical value is made in re- 
gard to the manufacture of glue, namely, that, for the purpose 
of drying it, the surplus moisture can be best removed by 
means of contact with salts instead of depending upon evap- 
oration. The result is a diminution of the time of the opera- 
tion by many days, which, in the warm weather of summer, 
may involve the saving of the entire product from injury by 

Improved methods for coating metals with nickel, cobalt, 


zinc, etc., have been announced and brought into considera- 
ble use. For farther details in this department we must re- 
fer to the pages of the Record. 

The department of J3t/giene hB,s been enriched by import- 
ant papers upon the microscopic fungi and their relationship 
to disease. Dr. Calvert shows us that the clothing and other 
objects igfected with the germs, and, as such, liable to propa- 
gate infection of one character or another, must be ejxposed 
to a temperature of at least 400° before their vitality is cer- 
tainly destroyed ; this heat, indeed, being in many cases suf- 
ficient to char cotton cloth. 

The subject of carbolic acid has also been discussed as to 
its efficiency, and it seems to have lost somewhat of the favor 
with which it was originally greeted. A long-known sub- 
stance, called chloralum, recently brought forward as an anti- 
septic by Dr. Gamgee,has also received a varying degree of 
commendation and approval. 

In the department of Matet'ia Medica much interest has 
centred, as far as the United States is concerned, in the ques- 
tion of the virtues of cundurango, the supposed remedy for 
the cure of cancer. Much speculation has been indulged in 
in regard to the actual value of this substance^ many persons 
believing it to be a success, and others considering it entirely 
inefficient. The decision of this question, however, we must 
leave to pharmaceutical specialists. 

Among the Miscellaneous subjects, or those that can hardly 
be assigned to one branch rather than another, we may men- 
tion Ihat of psychic force, brought forward by Mr. William 
Crookes as the result of certain experiments made with the 
aid of the celebrated medium, Mr. David D, Home, Mr. 
Crookes is a chemist of much eminence in the science, and the 
announcement made by him, ats the result of numerous exper- 
iments, that he can not resist the belief in the existence of a 
new and hitherto unrecognized force, has been received with 
much surprise. The principal manifestations of this law, ac- 
cording to Mr. Crookes, are, that the gravity of certain bodies 
can be measurably or even greatly increased, under certain 
circumstances, at the will of a particular individual, the ex- 
tent varying with the nerve-power of the person and the 
particular circumstances of the experiment. Very few of 
Mr.Crookes's colleagues concur with him, and the great body 


of physicists are entirely incredalous. The final decision 
must be left to the result of continued and careful experi- 
ments by physicists of established reputation. 

The scientific societies of Holland have associated them- 
selves to form what they call a Central Bureau of Exchange, 
for the purpose of carrying out the system of international 
distribution of publications inaugurated by the St^ithsonian 
Institution, and with which they propose to act as far as re- 
lates to the United States. All the publications of scientific 
institutions and learned men in Holland, to be transmitted to 
correspondents in other parts of the world, are to be sent to 
the central establishment in Holland, at Haarlem, under the 
direction of the Academy of Sciences of that city, by which 
they are to be made up into parcels and forwarded to corre- 
sponding institutions in other parts of the world. 

The destruction by fire of the building, collections, and 
library of the Academy of Sciences of Chicago has been a 
great blow to that thriving establishment, especially as the 
material within its walls was of extraordinary value, and 
embraced rich treasures in science. A vigorous effort, how- 
ever, is to be made to recover the losses, and it is not unlike- 
ly that a few years will see this institution again on its old 

The destruction of the greater part of the whaling fleet in 
the North Pacific by ice during the past autumn has been a 
calamity to the whaling interest of no ordinary magnitude, 
second only, indeed, to the damage caused by the privateers 
during the late rebellion. Most of the vessels, as might have 
been expected, were from New Bedford, and their loss repre- 
sents the abstraction of a large portion of the capital of that 

In a summary of the present character, it is, of coui-se, im- 
possible for us to weigh with any degree of precision the 
comparative value of the various discoveries made, or to de- 
cide upon their practical bearing, since some of the most val- 
uable will not develop the full measure of their utility until 
long after their first announcement. To those wishing to 
become acquainted with any particular department of knowl- 
edge, we must refer, as far as the present work is concerned, 
to the systematic Table of Contents and to the Alphabetical 
Index, where we trust they will pot be entirely disappointed. 







Mr. Proctor, in a recent article upon the Bolar eclipse of De- 
cember 22,1870, remarks that especial effort will probably 
be directed toward the solution of the problems connected 
with the character of the sun's corona ; and he sums up in a 
few words the different hypotheses that have been heretofore 
presented on the subject. These assign to the corona very 
different positions in space. The first places the corona 
around the sun, the second arpund the moon, and the third in 
our own atmosphere. Whichever of these may be considered 
as established, we shall have .three different degrees of mag- 
nitude and importance to assigp to the corona. If it be a- 
solar appendage, its extent exceeds that of any body within 
the solar system, save, perhaps, one or two of the most re- 
markable coniets ; if belonging to the moon, it is relatively 
insignificant, but still has a Volume far exceeding that of the 
earth ; lastly, if confined within the bounds of our ^mos- 
phere,it no longer is to be considered as possessing any real 
existence any more than the beam of light which shines 
through tbe clouds can be regarded as an actually existent, 
measurable*mass. These hypotheses he discusses in their or- 
der, aad finds reason to consider them all untenable; and 
^ally presents a different view from any, namely, that the 



corona consists of some sort of matter, whether separate 
solid or liquid bodies, vaporous masses, or groups in which 
solid or liquid bodies are intermixed trith vaporous masses, 
traveling round the sun. From this conclusion he sees no 
escape, should the others be rejected ; to his mind there be- 
ing no remaining proposition that can be presented on the 
subject. He therefore waits with much interest the result 
of the experiments which will be prosecuted with the direct 
object of testing tbe question — with a calm assurance, how- 
ever, that his suggestion will be the one ultimately substan- 
tiated.— 5 A^ October^ 1 870, 378. 


. Mr. Richard A Proctor has published in the April number 
of the Quarterli/ Journal of /Science a critical discussion of 
the observations made during the eclipse of last December, 
with special reference to the interpretation of the solar coro- 
na. It may be remembered that just before the eclipse took 
place he showed within what limits the problems to be solved 
by the phenomena in question were restncted, and stated that 
the principal object to be reachM was the determination of 
the questions connected with the corona. He now proceeds 
to show to what extent the ground has been covered, how far 
his own anticipations have been fulfilled, and what yet re- 
mains for further inquiry. In this paper he introduces what 
he considers a reform in the nomenclature of the sun, substi- 
tuting the word "sierra" for the colored layer or envelope 
of prominence-matter in the sun to which the name chwmo- 
sphere has usually been given. The paper is followed by a 
summary of the fruits of the various eclipse 'expeditions ; 
namely, in the first place, that the corona has at length been 
photographed, so that its peculiarities may be studied at our 
leisure, without fear of mistakes arising from inexact deline- 
ation ; second, that the connection between the ring-formed 
and the radiated corona has been demonstrated by the pho- 
tographic and other evidence, showing how the height of the 
bright inner corona corresponds with that of the outer corona 
(this is thought by him to be a most important discovery) ; 
third, that the fact of one of the lines of the cordfta spectrum 
being identical with Kirchhoff^'s 1474, a line seen in the spec- 
trum of our own aurora, has been abundantly demonstrated ; 



fourth, that the region in which the Fraunhofer lines have 
their origin has been ascertained and shown to be an atmos- 
pheric envelope (which may be some two or three hundred 
miles deep) lying immediately above the atmosphere; fifth, 
that the theory that the sierra is of the nature of an atmos- 
phere has been invalidated, and that the earlier.opinion (which 
Professor Respighi had supported on the evidence of his spec- 
troscopic observations) has been confirmed, if not demonstra- 
ted, namely, that the sierra consists of multitudes of rosy 
prominences, resembling the large ones in all other attributes 
except size. — 16 J., Aprils 1871, 247. 


The following report of the late solar eclipse, and of the 
results accomplished by it, is furnished by one of the most 
eminent of our American astronomers, and one who occupied 
a prominent part in the observations made : 

The weather along the narrow lin^of the late total eclipse 
was generally unfavorable. Out of twenty or more parties 
of observers, whose positions extended from the Atlantic to 
the Adriatic, about half saw nothing whatever of the total 
phas^,. and most of the other half were seriously interfered 
with by the clouds. The. Americans were generally more 
fortunate than their European brethren. At Xeres, near the 
Atlantic coast of Spain, Professor Winlock's party was en- 
tirely successful. So was the English party at Cadiz under 
Lord Lindsay. . At Oran, in Algeria, the station selected by 
Professors Tyndall and Huggins, a dense black cloud covered 
the sun a few minutes before the critical moment, and did not 
disappear till all was over. At Syracuse, the party from the 
Naval Observatory, Messrs. Hall, Harkness, and Eastman, 
were successful; while at Catania and on Mount Etna none 
of the. parties saw any thing. 
^ The first object ©f nearly all the parties was to learn some- 
thing of the constitution of the corona, and especially to con- 
firm or disprove the observations of the American observers 
on the eclipse of August 7, 1869, which seemed to show that 
the corona consisted of a glowing gas. The instrumental 
means employed for this. purpose were the spectroscope, the 
polariscope, and photography. « 

, One of the: best organized spectroscopic parties was that at 



Xeres, under charge of Professors Winlock and C. A. Yonng. 
They had four or more spectroscopes, of which two were 
used by English volunteers. Their observations confirmed 
the existence of bright lines in the spectrum of the corona, 
which had been observed by Harkness and others in 1869, 
but which the»English astronomers were slow to believe in. 
The most remarkable of these lines is a green one, supposed 
to be identical with one of the lines of iron, ^nd with the line 
found by Angstrom in the aurora and in the zodiacal light. 
This line was traced by Professor Winlock to a distance of 
near 20' from the sun's limb. Professor Young traced it 16' 
on the west, 12' on the north, 14' on the east, and 10' on the 

The other two spectroscopes were arranged so as to collect 
the light from the entire corona and protuberances at once. 
With one of these Mr. Abbay saw only two lines — ^the one 
just referred to, and the other the P line. With the other 
Mr. Pye saw also the lines C and D3. All except Mr. Abbay 
saw a faint continuous spectrum without dark lines. 

But the most interesting observation was the following by 
Professor Young : " Just previous to totality, I had carefully 
adjusted the slit tangential to the sun's limb at the^point 
where the second contact would take place, and was watch- 
ing the gradual brightening of 1474 and the magnesium lines. 
As the crescent grew narrower I noticed a fading out,* so to 
speak, of all the dark lines in the field of view, but was not 
at all prepared for the beautiful phenomenon which present- 
ed itself when the moon finally covered the whole photo- 
sphere. Then the whole field was at once filled with bril- 
liant lines, which suddenly flashed into brightness and then 
gradually faded away, until in less than two seconds nothing 
remained but the lines I had been watching," There can be 
little doubt that these bright lines emanate from the same 
atmosphere, the absorption of which causes the dark lines of 
the spectrum, the same rays which, by contrast, look dark 
alongside of sunlight, being bright when the sunlight is cut 
off by the moon. The existence of this atmosphere was long 
ago inferred from the dark lines of the solar spectrum, and 
Secchi had inferred that it formed. a very thin layer over the 
surface«of the photosphere, from noticing that the dark lines 
faded out at the extreme edge of the sun; but Young was, 


so far as we know, the first and only one to recognize it dur- 
ing an eclipse by its own bright lines. 

The well-organized parties under the eminent English spec- 
troscopists Messrs. Rbscoe and Lockyer were prevented by 
clouds fro.m seeing any thing ; and, so far as we can learn, 
none of the other observers did more than confirm some of 
the phenomena observed by Winlock and his party. 

All the observers describe the continuous spectrum of the 
corona as being devoid of all dark lines. This has been re- 
garded as showing that the corona shone almost entirely by 
its own light, because the dark lines are seen in the spectra 
of all bodies which shine by reflected sunlight. But the po- 
lariscope observations seem to show that there is much re- 
flected sunlight in the corona. In P;'ofessor Winlock's party. 
Professor Langley observed with a Savart's polariscope at- 
tached to a small telescope. The bands were distinctly seen 
on the corona, and were brightest where normal or tangen- 
tial to the; limb. It is understood that Professor Pickering, 
who used an Arago's polariscope, also saw evidences of po- 
larization. But Professor W. G> Adams, of London, who ob- 
served in Sicily, saw no* evidence of polarized light, while his 
assistants saw it very plainly. On the whole, the evidence 
seems strongly in favor of polarization, and therefore of some 
reflected light. 

Striking a general average among all the observations and 
the conclusions to be deduced from them, it may be fairly con- 
cluded that the sun is surrounded by four or more envelopes. 

1. A gaseous layer about five hundred miles thick, contain- 
ing a great number of chemical elements, which produce the 
ordinary dark lines of the spectrum by elective absorption. 
2. The red chromosphere and prominences, composed mainly 
of glowing hydrpgen, and extremely irregular in outline. 3. 
A-sphei'e of some very rare gas, hitherto unknown, shining 
.mainly by its own light, and forming the base of the corona: 
the new green line proceeds from this gas. 4. Irregular 
masses of light, extending a degree or more from the limb of 
the sun, the origin and nature of which are involved in obscu- 
rity. These are found in the photographs, so they can not 
be purely optical iflusions ; but it is still an open question 
whether they originate in our atmosphere, in the planetary, 
spaces, or in the neighborhood of the sun. 



The April number of the Americctn Journal of Science 
contains an interesting account of observations upon the so- 
lar protuberances, by Professor Respighi, translated for its 
columns from the Italian by Professor Wright. The conclu- 
sions arrived at are, in the main, similar to those of Professor 
Z6llner, of which an account is given elsewhere ; the essen- 
tial idea seeming to be that the photosphere is an incandes- 
cent liquid mass or stratum, by the weight of which various 
gases, especially hydrogen, are confined arid compressed in 
the interior of the sun at an elevated temperature, and that 
these occasionally rise toward the surface with great veloci- 
ty, until they force themselves through with a rapidity great- 
er or less according ta the- depth from which they emerge. 
The Professor suggests that it is these agitations and erup- 
tions which constitute the protuberances, and that the hydro- 
gen issuing from the body of the sun serves as an aliment to 
the chromosphere, thus repairing the i*epeated losses of the 
latter by its not improbable, combination with the substance 
of the photosphere ; and it is suggested, also, that possibly 
this immense stratum of incandescent hydrogen — to wit, the 
chromosphere — may be the principal source of heat radiated 
from the sun. 

The solar spots, according to Professor Respighi, are nei- 
ther cavities nor clouds, but are superficial modifications or 
partial obscurations of the photosphere, produced by scoriae 
or soum floating upon it; or, as it were, solid masses of isl- 
ands floating upon the liquid stratum. — 4 1>, April^ 1871, 283. 


Dr. Zollner, whose graphic pictures of the phenomena of 
the solar atmosphere are well known to many of our readers, 
has lately discussed anew the question of the temperature, 
and physical condition of the sun. Assuming that the prom- 
inences which present the appearance of eruptions are really 
produced by the action of explosive forces projecting vast 
quantities of glowing hydrogen into the chromosphere, he 
applies the principles of thermo-dynamics to determine the 
heat and pressure in diflerent portions of the sun's mass and 
atmosphere. He obtains as a probable minimum value for 


the temperature of the chromosphere, 49,850** Fahr. ; and for 
the temperature, of the interior region, whence the hydrogen 
is erupted, 123,150° Fahr. Assuming the atmospheric press- 
ure, at the base of the chromosphere to be about equal to 
seven inches of the mercurial barometer, he finds the pressure 
at the level of the nuclei of the spots to be about 184,000 at- 
mospheres, and the pressure in the inner region before named 
no less than 4,070,000 atmospheres. — 5 -4, Octob^, 1870, 419. 


According to a recent communication of Professor ZoUner, 
as given in Nature, " the sun-spots are slag-like by the radia- 
tion of heat on the glowing and liquid surface of the sun, the 
products of the cooling having again dissolved in consequence 
of the disturbance of equilibrium produced by themselves in 
the atmosphere. When these disturbances are not only lo- 
cal, but generally distributed, the formation of new spots is 
but little favored at the times of such general motion of the- 
atmosphere, because then the most essential conditions of the 
surface are wanting for a severe depression of temperature 
by radiation — ^namely, the rest and clearness of the atmos- 
phere. But when the surface has again gradually become 
quiet, after the dissolution of the spots, the process again re- 
commences, and acquires in this manner aperiodic character, 
inconsequence of the mean relationships of the surface of the 
sun, which may be considered as attaining an average in long 
periods. The distribution of the spots in area must, accord- 
ing to this theory, be determined by the zones of the greatest 
atmospheric clearness, which, as has been shown, generally 
coincide with the zones of the greatest abundance of spots." 
—12 AjMarch 16, 1871, 393. 


Mr. Stone, the astronomer royal at the Cape of Good Hope, 
in comparing the thermometric curves taken at the Cape 
since 1841 with those in Wolf's observations on the sun- 
spots, finds an agreement between the two series so close as 
to induce him to think that the same cause which leads to 
the excess of mean annual temperature leads equally to a 
dissipation of solar spots, and also that there is an approxi- 
mately decennial period of such temperature. He leans, how- 


ever, to the opinion that the connection between the variation 
of mean temperature and the appearance of the solar &pots 
is indirect rather than direct, and that each results from some 
general change in the solar energy. — 12 A^March 30, 484. 


In the September number oi i\i^ Arnerican Jowrrial ofScir 
ence^ Professor Daniel Kirkwood presents the teptimony of the 
spectroscope in regard to the truth of the nebular hypothesis, 
beginning by calling attention to the supposed annihilation 
of this hypothesis by the observations of Lord Rosse and of 
Professor Bond, both of whom succeeded, in March, 1846, as 
they thought, in resolving certain supposed nebulae in the 
stars. These observations were considered by the majority 
of astronomers as fatal to the claims of the nebular hypothe- 
sis. But, according to Professor Kirkwood, this has more 
than recovered from the shock it received, and the more re- 
H;ent application of the spectroscope to the investigation of 
the nebulae proves its truth conclusively. The general result 
of the later examinations he sums up in the following man- 

1. The ring nebula in Xyro, the dumb-bell nebula, the great 
nebula in Orion^ and others which might be named, are not, 
as was but recently believed, extremely remote sidereal clus- 
ters, but their light undoubtedly emanates from matter in a 
gaseous form, 

2. According to Lord Rosse and Professor Bond, the bright- 
er parts near the trapezium (in the nebula of Orion) consist 
of clustering stars. If this be the true appearance of the 
nebula under great telescopic power, then these discrete 
points of light must indicate separate and probably denser 
portions of the gas, and the whole nebula is to be regarded 
rather as a system of gaseous bodies than as an unbroken va- 
porous mass. 

8. Progressive changes in the physical condition of certain 
nebulae are clearly indicated by the fact that nuclei have been 
esUblished which, as shown by their spectra, are not wholly 
gaseous, but have passed, at least partially, to the solid or 
liquid form. 

4. The spectroscopical analysis of the light of several comets 
reveals a constitution similar to that of the gaseous nebulae. 




The spectiroacope, tken, has demonstrated the present exist- 
ence of immense nebulous masses, such as that from which 
Laplace supppsed the solar system to have been derived. It 
has shown, moreover, a progressive change in their physical 
structure, in accordance with the views of the same astrono- 
mer. In shorty the evidence afforded by spectrum analysis 
in favor of the nebular hypothesis is cumulative, and of itself 
sufficient to give this celebrated theory a high degi'ee of 
probability. — 4 2>, S^tember^ 1871, 165. 



At the meeting of the National Academy of Sciences on 
the 19th of April, 1871, Mr. William Ferrel, of the United 
States Coast Survey, gave an account of his discussion of 
tidal observations with reference to determining the mass of 
the moon. He used in this investigation a series of observa- 
tions .made for the Coast Survey during nineteen years-^a 
full lunar cycle — at Boston, Massachusetts, and a similar 
series of observations made at Brest, France, from 1812 to 
1831 inclusive. 

Without going into the mathematical form of the investi- 
gation, he endeavored to show that the moon's mass must be 
mainly inferred from. the ratio which the spring and neap 
tides bear to the constant or average tides. This ratio, how^ 
ever, does not depend entireljr uppn the moon's mass, but 
varies greatly for different ports, the heights and times of the 
tide being modified by local circumstances; and, consequent- 
ly, the tides have not been hitherto considered an available 
means for determining the mass of the moon. 

In addition to the constant, to be determined by observa- 
tion, introduced into the conditions by Laplace for determin- 
ing the moon's mass, Mr. Ferrel has introduced another, de** 
pending upon friction. Hence, there being three unknown 
quantities to be determined, including the moon's mass, he- 
uses the condition depending upon the moon's parallax in 
addition to the two used by Laplace. Without the introdue- 
tion of this additional constant and the additional condition 
for eliminating it, Laplace's conditions for the determination 
of the moon's mass entirely fail when applied to the Boston 



Laplace selected Brest, where the tide has a direct and 
short approach from deep water, and, neglecting the effect of 
friction referred to, obtained, as is well knoWn, the value of 
T^\^j in terms of the earth's mass, for the mass of the moon. 
At Brest the ratio of the halfrmonthly inequality to the co- 
efficient or half range of the constant tide is about .858, that 
of the constant tide being about 2.25 metres, and that of the 
mean spring-tides about 3.05 metres. At Boston the same 
ratio is only about .14, the co-efficient of the constant tide 
being 4.91 feet, and that of the mean spring-tides j5.58. From 
data so widely different Mr. Ferrel has deduced, by means of 
the introduction of the tenn depending upon friction, two 
values exhibiting a remarkable agreement, viz., from the Brest 
tides 7T/rr» and from those at Boston y^^. — Br. Nat. Acad. 


The bright star a LyraB must now be added to the few of 
which the parallax is known with considerable accuracy. Dr. 
Brtlnnow, formerly director of the observatory at Ann Arbor, 
and now astronomer royal fot Ireland, has lately computed a 
series of careful and most accurate measurements on this star, 
made by comparison with a minute star near it, known as 
Struve's Companion. The result is that the parallax is al- 
most exactly one fifth of a second. An idea of the smallness 
of this angle may be formed by reflecting that the smallest 
visible object subtends an angle of about one minute ; so 
that if the angle which Dr. Brtinnow had to measure were in- 
creased three hundred times, it would still appear to the 
naked eye as a mere point. Yet this is the angle subtended by 
the distance from the earth to the sun as seeii from the star. 
The corresponding distance of the star is a little more than 
a million times that of the sun, or about 93,000,000,000,000 
miles. Previous determinations of this parallax, by Peters, 
and the Struves, have ranged from one tenth to one fourth of 
a second ; but the extreme difficulty of measuring so small 
an angle made them all a little doubtful. — (Communicated.) 


The question whether the aurora is visible by daylight, as 
propounded some time ago in Nature, has met with several 


responses, some denying and others asserting the possibility 
of such a phenomenon. A Quebec correspondent, however, 
insists most positively that he has distinguished, in broad 
daylight, a movement of What appeared to be a light fleecy 
cloud, which had the changeability and streaming character 
of an aurora, and which, as night came on, developed into an 
aurora of the first magnitude. — 12 A^March 2, 348. 


Some considerable interest has lately been excited by the 
exhibition, before the Academy of Sciences of Paris, of a frag- 
ment of an ancient sun-dial, obtained during the French cam- 
paign in Syria in 1860 by M. Renan. This gentleman, then 
forming pai*t of the scientific mission connected with the 
army, caused excavations to be made in difierent localities in 
ancient Phcenicia, and among the objects of more or less in- 
terest brought to light in this way was the fragment in ques- 
tion. It presented certain mathematical peculiarities which 
are too technical to be introduced here, but itg entire arrange- 
ment was quite scientific, and it has been restored and com-, 
pleted so as to show very distinctly the plan. The epoch of 
its construction is believed to be subsequent to that of the 
great Geometers of Alexandria, without whose labors and 
discoveries it could not have been worked off; and it is prob- 
able that it is to be included among the works of the Greco- 
Egyptian renaissance. — 6 J?, July 25, 261. . 


A late number of Poggendorff's Annalen makes mention 
of a shower of meteoric stones which took place in Sweden 
on the 1st of January, 1869, not far from Upsala. These were 
scattered over a large extent of country, and one of them 
fell on the ice close to some fishei-men, and penetrated to a 
depth of three or four inches. The. largest of the stones 
weighed about two pounSs, and the smallest were very mi- 
nute. While most of them contained, in large part, the usual 
ingredients of such objects, there were others composed main- 
ly of carbon, the percentage of this element amounting to 
over one half, the other principal ingredients being oxygen, 
hydrogen, silica, and peroxide of iron. — 13 A^ December 15, 
1870, n. 



Professor Tacchini, of the Observatory of Palermo, has late- 
ly published some observations upon the protuberances of the 
sun, and sums up his conclusions as follows : 

1. That the protuberances are divisible into two great c&tr 
egoneH—JUamentouSy and simply vaporous. 
' 2. That in the great refractor of Merz the protuberances 
are observed with the greatest precision and clearness. . 

3. That with powerful instruments the separation of the 
protuberances into the two categories is quite evident, while 
with small instruments the observer may fall into the error 
of attributing a common structure, without distinction, to the 
protuberances in general, which explains the differences in 
the various observations made with ordinary instruments. 

4. That the whole of the border of the sun is a series of 
flames. — 3 A^ September 23, 230. 


The Boston Journal of Chemistry contains a communica* 
tion from Professor Young, of* Dartmouth, in reference to an 
outburst of solar energy remarkable for its suddenness and 
violence. Professor Young's attention had been directed for 
some time toward an enormous protuberance of hydrogen 
cloud on the eastern limb of the sun, which-had remained- 
with little change since the preceding noon, in no way re- 
markable except for its size. It was made up ^nostly of fila- 
ments, nearly horizontal, and floated above the chromosphere, 
with its lower surface at a height of some fifteen thousand 
miles, but was connected to it by three or four columns 
brighter and more active than the rest. The total length 
was about one hundred thousand miles, and depth about for* 
ty thousand. 

After an absence of a few. minutes, a remarkable change 
was observed by Professor Young to have taken place in this 
object, caused by its violent disruption during that period. 
In place of the quiet cloud, the space above it was filled with 
floating debris, a mass of detached, vertical, fusiform filaments 
in rapid motion, some of them having already reached a 
height of nearly one hundred thousand miles, and still rising 
with a motion almost perceptible to the eye, until in ten min- 


utes the uppermost were more than two hundred thousand 
miles above the solar surface. The velocity of ascent, one 
hundred and sixty-six miles per second, was considerably 
greater than any hitherto recorded. 

As the filaments rose they gradually faded away like a dis- 
solving cloud, and in about twenty minutes only a few filmy 
wisps, with some bright streamers, low down near the chro- 
mosphere, remained to mark the place. The- whole phenome- 
non suggested most forcibly to Professor Young the idea of 
an explosion under the great prominence, acting mainly up- 
wai*d, but also in all directions outward, and then, after an in- 
terval, followed by a corresponding inrush ; and it is thought 
possible that the mysterious coronal streamers, if they turn 
out to be truly solar, may find their oris^in and explanation 
in such events. I.; conclusion, ProfesL Young inquires 
whether the fine aurora which succeeded in the evening was 
the earth's response to this magnificent outburst of the sun, 
and thinks the coincidence at least suggestive. — 12 A^OctO' 
Jer 19, 488 ; Boston Journal of Chemistry. 


- Professor Oppolzer, of Vienna, has, after a careful calcula* 
tion and examination, rediscovered the planet Erato, which 
has been lost for over eight years, and has fixed its present 
•position so that it can be readily found by the more powerful 
telescopes. There still remain, however, quite a number of 
planets, such as Maja, which has not been seen for fifteen 
years, and ten others which were seen only once, and the re- 
discovery of which is hindered by the want of proper oppor- 
tunities of observers and of suitable telescopes. — 1 (7, xl., 640. 



Homstein has lately presented a paper to the Vienna Acad- 
emy^ in which he endeavors to show that the variation of each 
one of the three elements of terrestrial n^agnetism (namely; 
declination^ inclination^ and horizontal intensity) occur in a 
period of twenty-six and one third days. 

This periodic variation, as he thinks, is caused by the rota- 
tion of the sun; and as the duration of the period, from the 
mean of observations, consists of 26.33 days, we have what 


may be considered the result of the first effort to determine 
the synodic period of rotation of the sun, by the help of the 
magnetic needle. The true period of the rotation of the sun 
would hence appear to be about 24.55 days, very closely co- 
inciding with the value obtained from astronomical observa- 
tions from the period of rotation of the spots on the equato- 
rial zone of the sun (according to Sporer, 24.041 days). — 19.(7, 
XXXV., /September 2, 284. 


The attention of astronomei*s throughout the world is di- 
rected toward the approaching transit of Venus, to occur on 
the 18th of December, 1874, and it is hoped that the United 
States Congress, with the same liberality that induced it to 
make an appropriation for the observation of the solar eclipse 
of December last, and for the polar explorations under Cap-: 
tain Hall, wiH also, at the proper' time, advance the funds 
necessary for the research in this case. The British, German, 
and other foreign governments have already initiated meas- 
ures looking toward concerted action on the part of Europe- 
an astronomers in reference to the observation of this phe- 
nomenon ; and Professor Hall, of the Washington Observato- 
ry, in a late communication to the Journal of Science, ex- 
presses the hope that a similar concert of action will be set- 
tled upon by American astronomers, in order that they may 
not be behind their European confreres in the attempt to se- 
cure satisfactory results. A committee has been appointed 
by the National Academy of Sciences to take into considera- 
tion a general plan of operations, and it is expected that a 
report will be made on the subject at the apprbachiDg meet- 
ing in Washington City. — 4 D, April, 307. 


The Imperial Academy of Sciences of Vienna has offered a 
prize of twenty Austrian ducats, or a gold medal of the same 
value, for the discijvery of not less than eight new telescopic 
comets prior to the 1st of June, 1872. This is in view of the 
fact that, whatever the progress made in astronomy general- 
ly, but little has been added to our knowledge of the comets, 
and at the present day we can only catalogue two or three 
hundred out of the many thousands that doubtless belong to 


our system. As observatories have their regular work, which 
will not permit them to search for these* bodies, it is expected 
that professors and private parties in possession of good tele- 
scopic instruments will enter the field in competition for the 
prize. — 15 Ay July 29, 148. 


A new planet was discovered on the night of September 13 
last, at Marseilles, by M. Borelli, and named by him Lomia. 
This constitutes the one hundred and seventeenth in the se- 
ries of asteroids found between Mara and Jupiter. 


Another was discovered on the 11th of September by Dr. 
Peters, of Hamilton College, New York, the same body hav- 
ing been observed six days afterward by Luther, at Bilk. 
This will be the one hundred and sixteenth of the series. 


M. Faye, of the French Academy of Sciences, has lately 
read to that society two elaborate papers on the history and 
present state of the theory of comets. He commences with 
some critical remarks on a passage in the address of Sir Wil- 
liam Thompson before the British Association last summer, 
in which the latter spoke of the comet's tail as having been 
one* of the insoluble mysteries of astronomy. M. Faye con- 
cludes from this view that the Continental astronomers, have 
not spread the knowledge of their labors in England, and 
that the English have forgotten Newton's " Principia." Ac- 
cording to Faye, it is an established principle that the tails 
of comets, whether simple or compound, are due^o a repul- 
sive force exerted by the sun. The principal ch^iracteristics 
of this force have been clearly determined. Far from contra- 
dicting the received laws of mechanics, as Herschel seemed 
to pnppose, it is precisely by means of these laws that the 
most complicated phenomena of the tails have been account- 
ed for Qn the hypothesis of a repulsive force. All that is 
wanting is to learn the exact nature of this force, and, if pos- 
sible, exhibit its action experimentally. This is what the au- 
thor has attempted. He lays down a law, or, rather, until it 
is proved experimentally, a hypothesis, which he calls the 


law of repulsion of incandescent surfaces. He considers that 
. white-hot bodies in general exert a repulsive force on matter 
in a very rarefied state, but that this force differs from that of 
gravitation in residing in and acting upon the surfaces of bod* 
ies only, and in being intercepted by a screen of solid matter. 

Considering the existence of this apparent repulsive force 
as indisputable, M. Faye passes in review the theories of its 
origin. First, we have the theory of Newton, now forgotten 
in England, that the sun is surrounded by an extremely rare 
atmosphere extending beyond the orbit of the earth, and that 
the rare matter of the comet's tail rises in this atmosphere, 
just as smoke does in our own atmosphere. The objection 
to this theory is that the sun is not and can not be surround- 
ed by any such atmosphere. 

Then we have the hypothesis of Olbers, now adopted by 
ZoUner, that the repulsion is due to the electricity of the 
sun. This last investigator shows that if the electric tension 
of the outer layers of the sun's atmosphere ifi as great as is 
frequently seen at the surface of the earth, a little sphere of 
matter, half an inch in diameter, and weighing one sixtieth 
of a grain, repelled by the supposed electricity of the sun's 
atmosphere, would, when it reached the orbit of Mercury, be 
flying with a velocity of 2000 miles per second. This view 
is objected to because it is shown that there can be no elec- 
tric action in a vacuum. 

Another theory lately put forward is that x)f Professor Tait, 
who, however, dispenses with the repulsive force, and consid* 
ers that the whole comet is only a vast swarm of flying me- 
teorites moving in a flat layer, which is only visible when 
we look at it edgewise. He compares it to a flock of birds, 
which are ^visible when spread out, but plainly seen when 
they are in a line with the eye of the observer. M. Faye 
considers that this theory sets at naught all existing science, 
whether observations or theory. But he looks with more 
favor on another part of Tait's theory — that the light of jbhe 
comet arises from collisions among the meteorites which com- 
pose it, and which are thus continually striking fir^, as we 
may familiarly express it. 

M. Faye has attempted to prove his hypothesis by trying 
whether a white-hot metallic plate would repel rarefied air. 
The experiment was made in the presence of several savants. 


and a repulsion was actually exhibited. Unfortunately, how- 
ever, there was some difference of opinion about the inter- * 
pretation of the phenomena, and the decisive test has yet to 
be applied. • 


Professor Harkness, in a communication on Encke's comet, 
states that ever since November 18 it became steadily 
brighter and brighter, and its spectrum more, distinct. On 
the evening of December 1 the spectrum consisted of three 
bright bands ; the most refrangible one being verj faint, the 
middle one by far the brightest, and the least refrangible one 
having a degree of brilliancy intermediate between that of 
the other two. The shape of each of these bands somewhat 
resembled an isosceles triangle, with its base turned toward 
the red end of the spectrum. In the case of the two bright- 
er bands the light increased quite rapidly from the less re- 
frangible edge of the band, until it attained its maximum at 
a point distant from that edge by about one quarter of the 
whole breadth of the band, and thence it gradually faded 
away toward the more refrangible edge of the band. In the 
case of the most refrangible band, the light seemed to be of 
nearly equal intensity throughout its whole breadth. The 
positions of the two brighter bands were measured, and the 
resulting wave-lengths of the light, expressed in millionths 
of a millimetre, are approximately as follows : First band, 
less refrangible edge, 556 ; brightest part, 560.0 ; more re- 
frangible edge, 534 : second band, less refrangible edge, 616; 
brightest part, 610.9 ; more refrangible edge, 499. The posi- 
tion of the faint band was estimated, and the resulting wave- 
lengths are, for the less refrangiBle edge, 458, and for the 
more refi-angible edge, 448. ^t times he fancied he also saw 
a famt continuous spectrum, but could not satisfy himself 
that it really existed. 

Both in appearance and wave-lengths this spectrum bears 
such a remarkable resemblance to that of the second comet 
of 1868, that Professor Harkness is strongly inclin^ to think 
their physical constitution must be identical. It will be re- 
membered that the observations of Dr.Huggins showed that 
the spectrum of the latter comet was the same as that of ole- 
fiant gas. 


Perhaps the strangest feature observed in connection with 
the spectrum of Encke's comet was the progressive shifting 
of the point of maximum brightness in its middle band. The 
observed wave-lengths of the light of this point, on different 
nights, are aproximately as follows: November 18,501.0; 
November 25, 605.7; November 26, 605.9; November 27, 
510.0; November 29, 510.0; December 1, 510.9; December 
2, 511.9. It should be stated that while these changes were 
going on the band increased in breadth. 

The comet was examined carefully with a double-image 
prism, but without finding any traces of polarization in its 


Professor John le Conte, of the University of California, 
communicates to Nature an article upon the maximum veloc- 
ity of meteoric stones on reaching the surfistce of the earth, in 
which he adverts to the statement of Nordenskjdld, that me- 
teoric stones, weighing two pounds each, fell on the ice of a 
certain lake in Sweden, and failed to penetrate, making holes 
only three or four inches deep in the ice, and rebounding. 
This slight velocity, however, he shows, by a careful calcula- 
tion, to be entirely normal, and the result of the resistance of 
the air, and not to be in any measure an indication of the ve- 
locity which they had when entering the atmosphere. In 
the cases of small stones, the professor states that the resist- 
ance of the medium would very speedily produce retarded 
motion, and before traversing twenty or thirty miles of air 
they would probably move with a velocity approximating 
uniformity, and under the action of gravity alone. In other 
words, they would gradually lose their original velocity of 
translation, and, descending nearly or quite vertically, under 
the action of gravity, would ultimately attain a maximum 
velocity, under the opposing influences of the resisting and 
accelerating forces, and then descend to the earth with a uni- 
form velocity. 

He thiiv^s, however, the case would be different in propor- 
tion as the mass is greater.— 12 A^ September 14, 1871, 898. 






In a paper by Professor Rankine, on the tbermo-dynamic 
acceleration and retardation of streams, the attempt .was 
made to prove the following principle: That in a steady 
stream of any fluid the abstraction of heat at and near places 
of minimum pressure; and the addition of heat at and near 
places of maximum pressure, tend to produce acceleration ; 
the addition of heat at and near places of minimum pressure, 
and the abstraction of heat at and near places of maximum 
pressure, tend to produce retardation ; in a circulating stream, 
the quantity of energy of flow gained or lost in eacb complete 
circuit is equal to the quantity of energy lost or gained in 
the form of heat ; and in the absence of friction, the ratios 
borne by that quantity to the heat added and the heat ab- 
stracted (of which it is the diflerence) are regulated by the 
absolute temperatures at which heat is added and abstracted, 
agreeably to the second law of thermo-dynamics. 

Among particular cases of the thermo-dynamic acceleration 
and retardation of streams the following were specified : Ac- 
celeration by the addition of heat at and near a place of max- 
imum pressure ; the draft of a furnace ; and the production of 
disturbances in the atmosphere in regions where the ground 
is hotter than the air. Retardation i>J the abstraction of 
heat at and near a place of maximum pressure ; the dying 
away of atmospheric disturbances in regions where the ground 
is cooler than the air. 

Acceleration by the abstraction of heat at and near a place 
of minimum pressure ; the injector for feeding boilers, in which 
a jet of steam, being liquefied by the abstraction of heat, is 
enabled not only to force its way back into the boiler, but to 
sweep a current of additional water along with it ; also, to a 
certain extent, the ejector-condenser. 

The conduction of heat from the parts of a stream where 
the pressure and temperature are highest to the parts of the 
same stream where the pressure and temperature are lowest 


produces, according to the foregoing principles, a gradual and 
permanent retardation of thq stream, independently of the 
agency of friction ; and this is accompanied by the produc- 
tion of heat to an amount equivalent to the lost energy of 
flow. — Pr, British Association. 



In the report of the Tidal Committee of the British Associa- 
tion, Sir William Thomson stated that the chief object of the 
originators of the investigation was the determination of 
long -period tides, and particularly the lupar declinational 
tide and the solar declinational semi-annual tide. The rea- 
son for desiring the determination of such tides with great 
accuracy was that this would give a means of estimating, 
with absolute certainty, the degree of elastic yielding which 
the solid earth experienced under the tide-generating influ- 
ences of sun and moon. It was quite certain that the solid 
earth did yield to some degree, as it must do so unless it 
were infinitely rigid. It had long been a favorite assumption 
of geologists that the earth consisted of a thin shell of solid 
rock, twenty to fifty miles thick, according to various esti- 
mates, inclosing an interior filled with melted material — lava, 
metals, etc. This hypothesis was, however, untenable, be- 
cause, were it true, the solid crust* would yield with almost 
as perfect freedom (on account of its thinness imd great area) 
as if it were perfectly liquid. Thus the boundary of the solid 
earth would rise and fall nnder the tide-generating influences 
so much as to leave no sensible difference to be shown by the 
water rising and falling relatively to the solid, showing that 
if the earth, as a "whole, had an average degree of rigidity 
equal to that of glass, the tides would be very much dimin- 
ished from the magnitude corresponding to a perfectly rigid 
globe, with water like that of our seas upon it. This consid- 
eration, he had shown, rendered it probable that the earth had 
considerably more average rigidity than a globe of glass of 
the same size. The mathematical calculation showed a some- 
what startling result, to the effect that a globe of glass of the 
same size as the earth, if throughout of exactly the same ri- 
gidity as a small glass globe, would yield, like an India-rubber 
ball, with remarkable freedom to the tide-generating influ- 


ences, thus leaving a veiy much smaller difference to be 
shown by water if placed on the surface of such a globe, and 
estimated in its risaand fall relatively to the solid bottom on 
which it re&ted. The precise agreement of precession and 
nutation, with dynamical estimates founded on the supposi- 
tion of the earth being perfectly rigid, made it probable that 
the earth was, in reality, vastly more rigid, as a whole, than 
any specimen of surface rock in the condition in which it is 
when experimented on in our laboratories. The proposed 
tidal observation and calculation he considers to be the only 
method which gives directly, and without any possibly doubt- 
ful suppositions regarding interior arrangement of density on 
the earth, a measurement of its elastic yielding to the tide- 
generating influences. — 15 A,Augti8t 19, 1871, 237. 


Mr. James Croll, well known for his valuable papers upon 
ocean currents and other physical phenomena, remarks, in 
NaJbure^ upon the discussions which have lately taken place 
in regard to Sir William Thomson's conclusion, that had the 
earth solidified several millions of years ago, when it must 
have been rotating much more rapidly than at present, its 
form should have been different from what it actually pre- 
sents ^ or, in other words, there should have been a much 
greater difference than now exists between the equatorial 
and polar diametei*s. Regarding all the other arguments ad- 
vanced by Sir William Thomson in regard to the age of the 
globe afi unassailable, Mr. OroU does not agree to the conclu- 
sion from tidal retardation, but considers the real objection 
to the argument to be as follows : as the rate of rotation de- 
creases under tidal retardation, centrifugal force must de- 
crease also. The consequence, therefore, is that the sea must 
be slowly sinking at the equator and rising a);^ the poles. But 
denudation is also lowering' the land at the equator, and 
therefore the whole question concentrates itself in this : Will 
the denudation lower the level of the land at the equator as* 
rapidly as the sea sinks? This question, happily, can be an- 
swered. The method lately discovered of measuring the rate 
of sabaerial denudation enables us to determine the rate at 
which the land at the equator is lowered ; and from the prin- 
ciples of mechanics, the rate at which the sea is sinking at the 


equator can be determined. By this means it can be shown 
that the land is being lowered by denudation as rapidly as 
the sea is sinking, and that, consequently, in so far as this 
part of the argument is concerned, it -can not be inferred, from 
the present form of the earth, what its form was at the time 
when the solidification took place. — 12 A^Augicst 24, 323. 


A preliminary report has been made of certain experi- 
ments that have been prosecuted in India with reference to 
the determination of the intensity of gravity on an island sta- 
tion as compared with that of one inland, or on the continent, 
in the same latitude. As the result^ of observations upon an 
island west of Cape Gomorin, we are informed that gravity 
on the. coast was found to be greater than inland, and at an 
ocean station like Minicoy greater than on the coast. — 16 -4, 
Atifftist 19 J 241. 


Dr. Mofiat stated, at a meeting of the British Association, 
that ozone test-papers do not become permanently colored in 
the neighborhood of cesspools,. and that the brown colora- 
tion, when formed, is removed by the products of putrefac- 
tion. He also said that light, the humidity of the atmos- 
phere, and the direction of the wind influence the coloring of 
the test-pap^r. Moisture with heat accelerates the chemical 
action^ while a strong wind causes a greater amount of ozone 
to impinge upon the test-paper in a given time. To counter- 
act thie effect of these, he recommends that the test-papers be 
kept in a box. He described a tube-ozonometer, which he 
had in use, and gave results obtained by an aspirator ozo- 
nometer, and concluded by stating that the results obtained 
by the latter instrument were not satisfactory. — IS A j Aug. 
25, 662. 


Mr. Laughton, of England, examines in Mature the ques- 
tion whether the condition of the atmosphere can be influ- 
enced by artificial causes, in the course of which he refers to 
the assumptions of Professor Espy in regard to producing 
rain by means of fires, and the oft-repeated assertions thiat a 


heavy cannonade will effect a similar result. Ailer a careful 
consideration of the subject, he comes to the conclusion that 
no human agencies can be relied upon to bring about any- 
material change in the atmosphere with any degree of cer- 
tainty, although he thinks that large fires, explosions, battles, 
and earthquakes do tend to cause atmospheric disturbance, 
and especially to induce a fall of rain, but that for such a re- 
sult it is necessary that other conditions be suitable, espe- 
cially that the lower, portion of the air contain a great deal 
of moisture.— 1 2 A, Feb. 1 6, 307. 


•In a communication upon the annual distribution of thun- 
der-storms in Austria and Hungary, Dr. Jelinek remarks that 
from the critical investigations of past years it has been 
ascertained that in the northern hemisphere there are two 
minima and two maxima of frequency, of such storms. The 
first minimum occurs in the region north of the polar circle, 
the second in the region of the trade winds; in both, how- 
ever, summer storms are rare or entirely wanting. On the 
other hand, the maxima of frequency of storms occur on the 
one side in the vicinity of the equatgr, and on the other side 
in the temperate zone, and, indeed, they seem to be more fre- 

, quent to the south of Europe. In illustration of this, he re- 
marks that in Iceland thunder-storms occur almost exclusive- 
ly in the. winter season,' and that in the northwest of Scotland 
the winter storms predominate, although there is sometimes 

' a second maximum in July. The summer storms, on the 
other hand, are most abundant in Southern and Southwestern 
Scotland, as well as in France and the rest of Continental 
Europe. It is considered quite a remarkable fact that Bey- 
rout has quite a similar distribution of storms throughout 
the year as Iceland. Thus for ten years, during the four 
months of June to September, not one storm was observed, 
while in winter more than half the entire number for the year 
occurred, of which one fourth were in January. Again, while 
the number of these storms at Beirut seems to be very 
small, they are still fewer at Jerusalem, only eleven having 
been observed in the space of three and a half years. — Sitr 
Tungiber'K, K. Akad,^ Vienna^ LXI. 



Dr. M^ry remarks of the coast of Pera that it presents 
one of the most interesting exceptions to the general system 
of terrestrial meteoration^ and, as is usually the case in the . 
science of meteorology, that the true explanation of the anom- 
aly is only an additionalproof of the soundness of the g^ieral 
laws as established. In the course of his article he remarks 
that the narrow strip of country, only about fifteen geograph- 
ical miles in width, lacks the trade wind, rain, and thunder- 
storms, and is, consequently, a desert, although it is yet very 
fertile where water is found ; and the air is not destitute of 
moisture, having, indeed, no slight d^ree of saturation. The 
temperature is by several degrees too cold for its latitude^ 
and the air is characterized by continued damp fogs, the so- 
called gartms. The reason of this, variation from the usual 
system he finds in the fact that the trade wind blowing from 
the Andes comes down beyond the coast, which, consequent- 
ly, is in the lee or the shadow of the wind; and, in addition 
to this, there is a powerful cold ocean current flowing past 
it. The ti*ade wind thus 'does not reach the lower strata of 
the atmosphere until it,gets some considerable distance out 
to sea, and it is at this point that the rains first manifest 
themselves. The fog referred to is thought to be due un-^ 
doubtedly to the cold antarctic current^ so that, if the one 
were not present the other would inimediately disappear. — 
17 (7, JfarcA, 1871, 112. 


An English writer, while criticising somewhat unfavorably 
Professor Poey's new classification of clouds, remarks that in 
his opinion there are but three ways in which it is possible for 
clouds to be formed. These are, first, the cooling of a mass 
of air in situ by radiation ; this forms strcUud. Second, the 
cooling of a mass of air by diminished pressure when it flows 
in an ascending column; this forms cumukcs. A modification 
of the process is when sudden expansion takes place above, 
so as to diminish the pressure through the entire height of 
the column of air, and, in consequence of the cold due to 
the diminution of pressure, produces condensation* of vapor 
throughout the column. This is Espy's explanation of water- 



sponts. Third, the cooling of the mass of air by coming into 
contact with a cooler mass of air than itself; this forms cir- 
rus. — 12 -4, JVbvember 10, 1871, 28. 


Professor Forel, of Lausanne, after long-continued observa- 
tion, has determined the quantity of water passing the Rhone 
below the Lake of Geneva, and finds that to furnish this 
amount it would require an atmospheric precipitation in the 
basin above of nearly 45 inches. The actual precipitation, 
however, amounts to but 21 ^ inches, and the question arises, 
therefore, whence comes the surplus water? Professor Du- 
fbur finds its origin in the direct condensation of the atmos- 
pheric vapor on the ice, the cold rocks, and the snow-fields 
of the Alps. The following experiment may serve to eluci- 
date the principle involved : A vessel containing a cooling 
mixture of 672 grams weight, on being exposed for an hour 
in the calm, open air, inci*eased five grams in weight from the 
vapor condensed on its exterior. Direct measurements at 
suitable points would be interesting for the purpose of ascer- 
taining approximately what quantity of water is thus actu- 
ally carried to the river. — JF. (7., 1871, 179. 



The subject of the influence of " foresting," or the planting 
of trees, upon the climate of a country, and of " deforesting," 
or destroying the forest growth^ continues to excite much in- 
terest throughout the world, as it is now well established that 
the climate of many localities has been materially altered by 
one or the other of these processes. Systematic efibrts have 
been made, in different parts of the world, for introducing a 
growth of trees where these had either disappeared or had 
never been known, from which important results have fol- 
lowed in many instances. We well know the effect upon the' 
climate of India of planting extensive forests of different spe- 
cies ; and we are informed that, as the consequence of a sim- 
ilar experiment, Egypt, which formerly had only about six 
rainy days every year, since being replanted on a large scale, 
has already attained to twenty-four. Among the enlightened 
measures of the administration of the French government, 
one which is especially noteworthy is that of planting im- 




mense tracts of land in Algiers, especially with Australian 
trees, namely, the Acacia moUissima and Acacia lophantha. 
Plantations of these trees, started a few years ago, have at- 
tained a height of from nine to twelve feet, and in their rapid 
growth and great extent have already changed the climate 
very much — ^twice as much rain and dew falling in the neigh- 
borhood as before. Under the same auspices, sixteen square 
miles of the swampy, unhealthy country along the coast of 
the Bay of Biscay, in the department of the Landes, was 
planted with millions of trees-— especially the cork, oak, and 
swamp pine — with surprisingly beneficial results, the trees 
having drained the land so as to destroy the swamp fevers, 
and to change it into a healthy country with pine forests. 
Biscay law requires that for every tree cut down two shall 
be planted, and it is said to be executed with rigorous sever* 
ity. — 17 A^March 1, 1871, 36. 


Professor Piazzi Smythe,'the eminent Scottish astronomer, 
endeavors to establish the existence, in addition to the an- 
nual cycles of temperature, of thVee seasons, which he calls 
supra-annual. One of these corresponds to Schwabe's sun- 
spot period of a little over eleven years, although it is sug- 
gested that this is simply a coincidence, and th$it the actual 
occasion of the waves of the terrestrial temperature is. to be 
found in the red prominences of the sun. Another of these 
cycles is a little more than two years in duration, while the 
third is about fifty-six years. It is to the effect of these cy- 
cles that the so-called changes of climate are believed by 
Professor Smythe to be due. According to him there is no 
actual change, only that these cycles in their course bring 
back the same temperature. Taking a series of observations 
from 1837 to 1869, Professor Smythe finds that a hot time 
'occurs once in about every eleven years, followed at intervals 
of a little more than two years by a very cold period ; and, 
arguing from these data, he suggests that the temperature 
for any season may be foretold a year in advance, and that 
the past winter in England was the first of a cold cycle, of 
which the nert will probably be exceedingly severe. — 2 J?, 
June 11, 663. 



According to Professor Dove, of BerliD, any abnormally 
low temperature in Europe travels from the east to the west, 
while any subsequent abnormally high temperature moves 
from west to east. It is said that these generalizations have 
been verified by observations extending over almost the 
whole of Europe and a large portion of the United States of 
America. — 1 A^ June 17, 288. 


According to Professor Everett, the increase of tempera- 
ture in the Mont Cenis Tunnel amounts to one degree of 
Fahrenheit to every eighty-one feet of depth of descent, a 
progression slower in amount than that hitherto observed 
elsewhere. Mr. Symons has found the increase to be one de- 
gree for fifty-four feet at one place in England, while exper- 
iments near Paris give one degree for fifty-six feet. In sink- 
ing a well in Siberia, although the earth was frozen to a depth 
of about 700 feet, the increase of temperature was one degree 
in fifty-two feet. — 18 Aj August 18, 637. 


The announcement has been made by Mr. Glaisher, the 
well-known British meteorologist, that the monthly mean 
temperature of the air at twenty-two feet of elevation is 
higher than at four feet at all hours of the day and night in 
January, February, November, and December ; in the after- 
noon and during the night hours in the months of March, 
April, August, September, and October ; and in the evening 
hours and during the night in the months of May, June, and 
July. He %lso states that the mean monthly temperature 
of the air, at twenty-two feet and at fifty feet, is higher dur- 
ing the evening and night hours through the year th^n at 
the height of four feet, and also higher night and day during 
the winter months. — 12 Ay November 10, 1870, 37. 


A commission of the British Association has for some years 
been engaged in collecting evidence in regard to the temper- 
ature of the earth at different depths and in different regions. 




By some of the observations, the rule heretofore announced 
in regard to increase of temperature was corroborated, name- 
ly, that which fixes it at one degree to about fifty feet, in 
some instances varying a little in excess or diminution. At- 
tention was called to the interest which would attach to 
carefully prepared observations made in the great artesian 
well near St. Louis, which, as is known, reached the depth of 
3843 feet, greatly exceeding that of any other well of the 
kind in the world. Unfortunatelj^ this well is blocked up at 
a point comparatively near to the surface ; and it would in- 
volve great expense to open it out again for the purpose of 
prosecuting special experiments. Mr. Glaisher, on the same 
occasion, presented some remarks in regard to the tempera- 
ture of the air at different altitudes, and explained that, al- 
though in general the cold increases the higher we ascend in 
the atmosphere, yet at some seasons, at a certain distance 
from the earth, the temperature is higher instead of lower 
than at the surface ; furthermore, it was ascertained that at 
given elevations the thermometer indicated a higher point at 
night than by day, and he therefore considers that up to 
1000 feet the temperature may be occasionally higher instead 
of lower than at the ground. — 8 A^ October 1, 1870, 185. 

eveeett's self-registering maximum thermometer. 

A new pattern of self-registering maximum thermometer, 
adapted for use in a vertical position, with a bulb in the top, 
is presented by Professor Everett in his report on under- 
ground temperatures. The contraction in the neck prevents 
mercury from passing into the stem when the instrument re- 
ceives moderate concussion. Before taking a reading the 
instrument must be gently inclined, so as to allow all the 
mercury in the stem to run together into one column near 
the neck. On restoring the thermometer to the erect posi- 
tion, the united column will flow on the other end of the tube 
(that is, the end farthest from the bulb), and it is from this 
end that the graduations begin. It is set for a fresh obser- 
vation by holding it in the inverted position, and tapping it 
on the palm of the hand. This instrument, like that hereto- 
fore used, is protected against pressure by an outer case of 
glass, hermetically sealed.— 1 5 A^ August 1 9, 237. 



In a recent communication to the Academy of Sciences of 
Paris, M. Boussingault described some experiments showing 
that water is not liable to freeze, irrespective of the degree 
of cold to which it is submitted, as long as it is not allowed 
to expand in order to change into ice. In one instance, wa- 
ter inclosed in a strong steel tube was exposed to a temper- 
ature of 8.60 Fahr, without congelation. This, however, oc- 
curred instantaneously on unscrewing the steel end of the 
tube. The fluidity of the water was made manifest by small 
steel spheres which moved freely inside of the tubes during 
the whole process, and would have been stopped by conge- 
lation. — 12 Ay July 20, 1871, 236. 


It is well known that within a few years past the condition 
of the Great Basin in the interior of North America, in regard 
to rain-fall, has varied materially, and tliat the percentage has 
been much more than heretofore ; this fact being well estab- 
lished by the greater increase of the depth in Great Salt Lake, 
Pyramid Lake, and other localities. Regions which twenty 
years ago were dry, and occupied by dwellings or roads, are 
now many feet below the water. At the meeting of the Cali- 
fornia Academy of Science, held on the 7th of August last, 
Professor Whitney presented a communication, stating that 
this rise had been arrested, and that the level of the water 
was actually descending. Whether this be a permanent 
change, or whether another alternation will occur, can not, of 
course, be foretold. It is, however, well established by geol- 
ogists that the Great Salt Lake at one time occupied its en- 
tire valley, and thus was of vastly greater extent than at 


Among current works likely to constitute a new era in the 
history of American meteorology may be mentioned a piaper 
by Mr. C. A. Schott, of the Coast Survey, upon the rain-fall in 
the United States, as prepared and published under the direc- 
tion of the Smithsonian Institution. These embrace observa- 
tions for many years past, and constitute, in a measure, the cul- 



mination of the long and patient labors in this direction as in- 
stituted by Professor Henry, and carried out to their conclu- 
sion. . The matter, as given in this paper, embraces a series of 
tables of the daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual rain-fall at 
numerous stations in North America, with critical discussions 
of the scientific questions involved, and is accompanied by 
three maps, prepared with great care, exhibiting the rain-fall 
for the winter, the summer, and the year. Numerous impor- 
tant generalizations are discussed in this memoir, to which 
we refer our readers for details. 

A paper upon the winds of the northern hemisphere, by 
Professor Coffin, was published some years ago by the Insti- 
tution, but a new and entirely revised one is in an advanced 
i^tage of preparation. The discussions and generalizations 
with reference to temperature, barometric pressure, etc., will 
follow in due succession. 


Mr. Pengelly informs us, as the result of a critical inquiry 
on the subject, that under unobjectionable conditions, and at 
the same station, less rain will be received by a rain-gauge 
high above the ground than by one nearer the surface ; sec- 
ond, that the total defect will increase with increase of height; 
and, third, that the defect will not increase so rapidly as the 
height.— 12 A^ June 29, 1871, 169. 

poey's new form of cloud. 

Mr. Robert H. Scott, in a recent article in Nature upon the 
forms of cloud, referring to one mentioned by Professor Poey 
as quite new to meteorologists, and as having been met witK 
by him on two occasions only, remarks that, according to Dr. 
Clouston, it is common in Scotland, where it is called the 
" pocky cloud," and is much dreaded as a prognostication of 
stormy weather. This he describes as a series of dark, cumu- 
lus-looking clouds, like festoons of dark drapery, over a con- 
siderable portion of the sky, with the lower edge well defined 
(as if each festoon, or ^ pock," were filled with something 
heavy), one series of festoons generally lying over another, so 
that the light spaces between resemble an Alpine chain of 
white-peaked mountains. It is essential that the lower edge 
be well defined, for a similar cloud, with the lower edge of 


the festoons fringed or shaded away, is sometimes seen, and 
is followed by rain only. — 12 A^October 26, 1871,505. 


An English writer, in discussing the question of easterly 
gales, and the methods of foretelling their approach by 
means of the barometer and otherwise, infers from thex)bser- 
vations of the " Quarterly Weather Report" that such gales, 
so far from ooming almost without notice^ are preceded by a 
high barometer and a low temperature, and that am increas- 
ing difference of atmospheric pressure between the extreme 
limits of the British Islands is the danger-signal of the ad- 
vent, direction, and intensity of all storms. At the southern 
edge of these easteriy gales he states that there always exists 
a lower barometer than at the northern, and hence the change 
of the position of low pressure marks out the track of the 
storm. — 3 -4, October 28, 1870, 317. 


A German writer recommends a new form for the construc- 
tion of weather-cocks, or wind vanes, as being more suitable, 
and less likely to be moved out of place by slight puffs of 
windi The peculiarity of the vane consists in having two 
wings instead of one, united at an angle of forty-five degrees. 
—1 1 (7, September 12, X870, 249. . 


An Austrian meteorological journal contains an account of 
a very remarkable calm occurring in one portion of an ex- 
posed locality while a violent storm was prevailing in every 
direction round about the section in question. L. Gurlitt, a 
well-known landscape painter, intending to make a number 
of sketches on the chalk rocks on the coast of the Danish isl- 
and Mden, encountered a gale blowing directly in the face of 
the coast-line, and, failing to receive the shelter which it was 
expected the trees, shrubs, and gullies would afford, resigned 
his purpose, and sauntered about the locality with no partic- 
ular end in view. He was led by curiosity to the very edge 
of the precipice, and here, to his utter astonishment, he found 
80. perfect a calm^that he was enabled not only to execute 
the proposed drawings, but to lay his papers on the ground 



without their being moved by the wind, while at a distance 
of from twenty to thirty paces in his rear the trees were bend- 
ing with the force of the gale. He subsequently, again and 
again, observed this phenomenon when a high wind would 
strike a vertical rock at right angles. By this he was led to 
conclude that a mass of air in rapid motion, meeting with an 
extensive perpendicular obstacle, is forced upward some dis- 
tance above its upper edge, and then flows over like a wa- 
ter wave, thereby protecting a belt against the direct wind. 
Professor* G. Torchhammer also, repeatedly noticing, in Jut- 
land, that in stormy weather sheep congregated close to the 
edges of precipices, found a perfect calm prevailing at such 
points. Another observation would appear to confirm the 
correctness of the above explanation. A cloud was seen for 
nearly a whole day hovering on a level with the summits of 
the rocks of Gibraltar, though during the entire time an east- 
erly gale was blowing, from which it would appear that the 
upward current created by the resistance of the rocky wall 
prevented the cloud from following in the direction of the 
wind.— 7(7,1871,180. 


Among the experiences of the Mount Washington winter- 
paity may be mentioned an exposure to perhaps the greatest 
cold ever recorded in the annals of sciepce. The temperature 
was 60°, and to this was added a hurricane blowing at the 
rate of one hundred miles an hour. The combination of such 
a wind with the temperature indicated would probably have 
been entirely unsupportable but for the means of protection 
enjoyed by the party in the dwelling which had been fitted 
up expressly for their accommodation. 


It is Stated in some of the papers that the system of storm 
signal observations now in progress under the direction of 
the Signal Corps of the army was devised by Great Britain 
before it was made use of by the United States government. 
This is perhaps correct so far as it goes ; but it is to Profess- 
or Henry, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, that we 
owe the original idea of procuring dispatches regularly in re- 
lation to the weather, and tabulating them, as also of placing 


them on a map, so as to show, day by day, the general char- 
acter of the weather throughout the United States. For sev- 
eral years prior to the beginning of 4he war this system was 
carried on regularly, and was of great interest to visitors to 
the Institution. The occupation of the telegraph lines for 
military purposes, and the fire in the Smithsonian building, 
broke up the arrangement ; and it was about to be resumed 
when the government undertook the work, thereby relieving 
the Institution from the necesSity of its further prosecution. 


M. De Fonvielle, an eminent meteorologist, endeavors to 
show the reason why an increased atmospheric pressure gen- 
erally accompanies fair weather, and b, diminished pressure 
wet. According to his theory, the dry winds come from the 
noith or northwest, and hence, traveling from a cold region, 
the air has a tendency to descend, and, therefore, to increase 
the pressure of the atmogphere, as shown by the rising of the 
barometer. On the other hand, the winds laden with moist- 
ure usually come from the south or southwest, consequently 
causing a diminished pressure, ^nd a fall of the barometer. — 


A report has just been published in Bremen of the meteor- 
ological and physical conditions attendant upon the voyages 
of the North German steamers between New York and Bre- 
men during 374 passages. From this it appears that float- 
ing ice is met with principally between the meridians of 46 
and 51, and is more abundant east of that region than west 
of it. The general direction in which the storms blow is said 
to be between west and north-northwest; also, that fifty per 
cent, of the entire number occurred during November, De- 
cember, and January ; twenty-six per cent, during February, 
April, j^nd October ; twelve per cent, during March and Sep- 
tember; and the remainder distributed over the remaining 
four months, from May to August. They reach a maximum 
at 30° west longitude, and maintain it to 45° west, their di- 
rection being northwesterly. From these facts, Von Freeden, 
the author of the article, concludes that the storms begin in 
the peigbbovhQod of the Banks of Newfoundland, where the 

B 2 


cold arctic current meets the warmer watera of the Gulf 
Stream, and that they are not West Indian hurricanes cross- 
ing the Atlantic from shore to shore. — 16 A^Aprily 1871^282. 


Dr. Buys Ballot, the eminent director of the Meteorological 
Observatory of Utrecht, has been lately ui'ging the Portu- 
guese government to establish a station in the Azores, to be 
connected with the general system of European meteorolog- 
ical observatories by a submarine cable which will shortly be 
laid in that direction. By the reports of southwestern gales 
that can be obtained in this tvay, it is expected that an am- 
ple premonition of their approach can be given to the British 
Islands and Western Europe. This will greatly improve the 
system of weather forecasts as now attempted in Europe, 
and inake them approach more nearly in accuracy to those 
of the United States Signal Corps, which have astonished ev- 
ery one by their reliable indications. This accuracy is due 
to the fact- that most changes in the weather begin in the 
west and extend eastward ; and the greater the distance to 
the westward over which such observations can be made, the 
more time will be given, of course, toward the east to pre- 
pare for the impending changes. — 12 A^ June 22, 1871, 156. 


Professor J. D.Whitney, in a recent communication to the 
Academy of Sciences of San Francisco upon the use of the 
barometer in determining altitudes, remarked upon the effect 
which temperature exerts upon the instrument, and stated 
that the difference between the cold of winter and the heat 
of summer would sometimes, in the same instrument, involve 
a difference in the estimate of a given height of as much as 
seventeen feet. He hoped in time to have tables prepared 
which should give the allowances that must be made for each 
day of the year, and for different times in the day, an obser- 
vation at 9 A.M. sometimes giving a different result from one 
taken at 2 P.M. at the same altitude on the same day. He 
also expressed his dissatisfaction with the aneroid barometer 
as a means of measuring altitudes, although he had experi- 
mented with the best that were offered in the mjlrket. • He 
found them reliable for a certain time only, and they appeared 


to have spells :of irregularity from which they recovered very 
slowly; He did not find any upon which he could rely for 
heights above 1000 feet. — Proceedings Cal, Academy. 


In a comparison of the aneroid and mercurial barometers, 
made throughout a recent voyage across the Atlantic, it was 
ascertained that the ordinary indications were the same in 
both instruments,'but that the aneroid was to be considered 
as more sensitive to atmospheric changes. It always indi- 
cated the approach of foul weather, or the change to fair, in 
advance of the rival instrument. — 8 -4, 2>ec6»ifter, 1870,224. 



From a table by Dr. Klein, showing the mean annual fre- 
quency of thunder-storms in different localities, Java appears 
to be the most favored in this respect, oiie locality being 
credited with 159 storms, and another with 110. Beyjout, 
in Syria, can count only four, while Sitka has an average of 
only one and a half per annum, as shown by a period of nine 
years. — 1 7 (7, no date. 


An unusual phenomenon was witnessed lately at Serena, in 
Chil6, on the 7th ult.,due to the reflection of the sun on some 
masses of clouds which extended in the form of cirro cumuli 
along the Bay of Coquimbo. The sun's disk was seen some- 
what opaque in jthe centre of a great cloud of a fine golden 
color, along the edges of which were seven more disks of a 
brighter golden tint appearing as satellites around the set- 
ting orb. In the lower part of the cloud the image of part 
of thie Bay of Coquimbo was reflected, as if seen in a gigantic 
min'or. The phenomena were visible for the space of seven- 
teen minutes, when they sank gradually below the horizon, 
like fugitive stars in the ocean. — JPanama Star and Herald^ 
-ZVouemfter 2,1871. 


Professor Winchell, in* a late magazine article upon the 
climate of Michigan, adduces figures to show that while the 
July climate of Michigan is cooler than that of Wisconsin 


and Minnesota, the growing season begins on the western 
side of the state thirteen days earlier in the spring than it 
does at Milwaukee, nearly opposite, and continues from five 
to eight days later in the autumn ; a still greater contrast be- 
ing appreciable if localities in the interior of Wisconsin be se- 
lected. The extreme cold of Grand Haven, Michigan, too, is 
14° higher than that of Milwaukee, the difference, according 
to Professor Winchell, being all that distinguishes between a 
fruit-bearing region and one in which fruits fail. 



A paper has been recently published by Streintz upon the 
question whether the moon exercises any appreciable influ- 
ence upon meteorological phenomena, based upon a. discus- 
sion of twenty years' observation at the Greenwich Observa- 
tory. He gives it as the result of his investigations that the 
moon, in our latitude, exercises no influence upon the barom- 
eter, upon rains, nor upon the wind, which can be appreciated 
by the most careful observation within the last twenty years ; 
and that if any such influence occur, it must be extremely 

slight. — 18 (7, XXXIII., August 1 6, 1871, 513. 

I. * ■ ■ ■ 


The transportation of sand from Africa to Italy, France, 
and the Canaries by means of hurricanes has frequently been 
observed and referred to in scientific journals ; but a transfer 
of salt, as recently reported to have taken place in Switzer- 
land, is perhaps a more unusual phenomenon. According to 
Professor Kenngott, of Zurich, a hail-storm lasting five min- 
utes occurred at eleven o'clock in the morning of the 20th of 
August, 1870, the stones from which were found to possess a 
salty taste. Some of them weighed twelve grains. They 
were found to consist essentially of true salt, such as occurs 
in Northern Africa on the surface of the plains, mainly in 
hexaedric crystals or their fragments, of a white color, with 
partly sharp and partly rounded grains and edges. None 
of the crystals were entirely perfect, but appeared as if they 
had been roughly developed on soihe surface. There seems 
little doubt but that their source was precisely the same as 
that of the sand, having been taken up ajid brought over the 
Mediterranean Sea from some part of Africa. 


A still more remarkable phenomenon has been recently re- 
corded by Professor Eversmann, of Kasan — namely,-the oc- 
currence of hailstones each containing a small crystal of sul- . 
phuret of iron. These crystals were probably weathered 
from some rocks in large quantity, and were then taken up 
from the surface of the ground by a storm, ahd, when carried 
into the hail-forming clouds, served as a nucleus for the for- 
mation of hailstones. — 3 C^June 26, 1871,618. 


Advantage has recently been taken of the borings in the 
Mont Cenis Tunnel to ascertain the interior temperature of 
the earth, the experiments being instituted at a point in the 
tunnel which was situated five thousand four hundred feet 
from the surface. Here special borings were made to a depth 
often feet in lateral excavations, which were closed for a con- 
siderable period of time after the instruments were inserted. 
The temperature observed at this point was a little over 82^° 
Fahr.— 7(7,1871, 304. 


Dr. Carpenter, in a late communication to Nature^ calls at- 
tention to the neglect, in the late discussions upon the ocean 
currents, of published observations made upon the influence 
of variations of barometric pressure upon the sea-level. In 
this connection he remarks that, according to one author, a 
fall of one inch in the barometer is pretty uniformly, accom- 
panied by a rise of the sea-level to about thirteen timps this 
amount, or thirteen inches; and another makes the ratio to 
be about one to thirteen and a half inches, this being subse- 
quently corrected to about twelve and three fourths inches. 
Dr. Carpenter thinks that this relationship of barometric press- 
ure to the height of the tides may serve to explain a number 
of anomalous phenomena that have perplexed observers, es- 
pecially with reference to unusual rises of tide, and their re- 
tention at a high level longer than customary. — 12 Ay April 


M. Galliard, of Guadaloupe, states, as the result of numer- 
ous and exact observations, that between the tropics radia- 


tion appears -to exist in a constant relation to the density of 
the zodiacal light ; or, in other words, that its light is a screen, 
which, by its relative opacity, arrests a portion of the heat 
emitted by the sun. This &ct is, he says, placed beyond a 
doubt by a long series of thermometrical observations com- 
pared with the observations of the density of the zodiacal 
light— 3 B^ September V, 1871, 624. 


We bave already made some reference to the observations 
of Professor Tyndall in regard to the cause of the blue color 
of the Lake of Gpeneva, and to his ascribing it to the presence 
of solid particles of extreme fineness sus|)ended in the water. 
The researches of Professor Tyndall, and of Professor Loret 
on the same subject, have been reproduced by Professor De- 
lafontaine, of Chicago, and lately presented before the Acad- 
emy of Sciences of that city. As the result, of his observa- 
tions, hQ stated that common water, when crossed by a beam 
of light, becomes illuminated, and assumes a blue color, polar- 
izing the light in the same way that air does, and that it loses 
this property on having undergone a complete purification by 
the removal of solid matter suspended in the liquid. His ex- 
periments were tried upon the Chicago River water in its 
natural state, which exhibited great illuminating power even 
after a rest of several weeks. By first filtering and then care- 
fully distilling the same water, with the aid of permanganate 
of potash^ for the pui'pose of removing the organic matter, he 
found that it lost almost the whole of its power of illumina- 
tion. — Chicago Timea^ December 14, 1870. 


An important work has just been commenced in France, 
under the direction of Messrs. Delaunay and Mari4 Davy, 
with the title of" Physical Atlas of France," a specimen num- 
ber having been issued by these gentlemen for the criticism 
of their friends and correspondents. The scale oh which most 
of the maps are to be executed is two millionths of an inch, 
which is thought to be sufficiently large to allow a represen- 
tation of the different elements to be included. The subjects 
treated of in this atlas will be classified under six different 
heads : first, the political administrative condition of Franccj 


such as the ancient and modem divisions' into provinces, de- 
partments, judicial districts, university and military districts, 
etc. ; second, the soil and the waters of France, such as maps 
of the bottom of the sea, of the flora and marine fauna of the 
coast, relief maps of the soil and water-courses, general and 
special geological maps, etc. ; third, the climatology of France, 
showing. the lines of equal temperature, rain and wind maps 
according to, the season, maps of storms, hail, etc. ; fourth, 
the agronomy of France, such as maps of geographic botany, 
of the leafing, flowering, and fructification of plants, maps 
showing the condition of culture^ the portions occupied by 
woods, sterile patches, meadows, etc., maps of natural and 
artificial irrigations, etc. ; fifth, the industry, commerce, and 
navigation of France j including maps of telegraphic and post- 
al lines, of railways and canals, and showing the distribu- 
tion of the different industries, as well as maps of the mineral 
and manufacturing productions. The sixth and last division 
is that of population, including ethnology and archaeology, 
maps of the density of the population, of the price of daily 
labor, maps of primary, secondary, and superior instruction, 
of the prisons, the endemic maladies, the size of the conscripts, 
etc. • 

The specimen number of this work relates to the navigable 
waters, and how far they are navigable from the sea for war 
or other vessels, the amount of water at the different seasons, 
their industrial utilization, the amount disposable for agricul- 
ture and the amount actually used for irrigation, the mineral 
composition of the waters, etc. Also the relief of the bottom 
of the sea, and the composition of its bottom in reference to 
navigation ; and the mineral, animal, and vegetable produc- 
tions found at the bottom of the sea, and the places of their 
. production ; the sedentary and nomadic population, who oc- 
cupy their time in fishing ; the position of light-houses and 
life-saving stations, etc. — 3 J?, xxvi., October 26, ISVl, 213. 


We have already referred to the pendulum experiments 
carried, on by Captain Basevi in India, having for their spe- 
cial object the determination of the mass of the earth in that 
region, and we regret to hear of the untimely interruption of 
these important observations by the death of this accomplish- 



ed physicist. As far as the results of his labors are known, 
it would appear that the local variations of gravity which are 
superposed on the great law of increase from the equator to 
the poles, though apparently irregular when examined singly, 
are subject to laws which are highly interesting and curious, 
and are well worthy of investigation. At the northern ex- 
tremity of the arc the results indicate a deficiency of density 
as the stations approach the Himalayan Mountains, while at 
the southern extremity they show an increase of density as 
the stations approach the ocean : thus both groups of results 
point to a law of diminution of density under mountains and 
continents, and an increase under the bed of the ocean. 

While this applies to altitudes of seven thousand feet and 
under, it remained to determine the conditions at greater 
heights, and ari'angements were made to experiment on some 
of the table-lands of the interior of the Himalayas fourteen 
thousand to seventeen thousand feet in height. After this 
was done, the pendulums were to be taken back to England, 
and swung at the base stations of Greenwich and Kew, stop- 
ping at Aden, on the Suez Canal. In this way the gravity 
at Aden would be directly compared with that at certain 
points of the coast and continental stations of the Indian pen- 
insula, while the plains of Egypt would be compared with the 
Himalayan Mountains. In the prosecution of this research. 
Captain Basevi reached a spot in Ladak where, at an altitude 
of fifteen thousand five hundred feet, he completed a satisfac- 
tory series of observations, which show a very gross deficien- 
cy of density. After applying the usual reductions to sea- 
level, etc., it was found that the force of gravity at that point 
did not exceed the normal amount for the parallel of six de- 
grees to the south, as determined by previous observations 
with the same pendulums. 

Wishing to have one niore independent determination at a 
high altitude. Captain Basevi continued his journey to a point 
on the borders of the Chinese territories at an altitude of 
about sixteen thousand feet. Here, however, his labors were 
abruptly closed by disease, which had been impending for 
some time, and but a short period elapsed before his death 




Professor A. M. Mayer, of Lehigh University, has 46vised 
an ingenious method of fixing, photographing, and exhibiting 
the magnetic spectra. For this pui*pose he ta^es a clean 
plate of thin glass and coats it with a film of shellac, formed 
by flowing over it an alcoholic solution of this substance just 
as the photographic print is coated with collodion. After 
the plate has remained a day or two in a dry atmosphere, it 
is placed over a magnet or magnets, with the ends resting on 
slips of wood so that the under surface of the plate just 
touches the magnet. Fine iron filings are now sifted uni- 
formly over the film of lac by means of a fine sieve. The 
spectrum is then produced, on vibrating the plate, by letting 
fall vertically upon it, at different points, a light piece of 
copper wire. The plate is now cautiously lifted off the mag- 
net, and brought quite close to the under surface of a cast- 
iron plate which has been well heated. Here the shellac is 
softened uniformly, and the iron filings sink into the film, and 
are fixed. The heat should be allowed to continue until the 
metallic lustre of the filings has disappeared by sinking into 
the shellac, and the film appears quite transparent. After 
the plate is cooled, any supei'fluous filings are knocked off by 
inverting and gently tapping it. These plates may then be 
used either, as permanent objects of exhibition, or as nega- 
tives from which to print, in the usual way, an accurate rep- 
resentation of the foci, lines of direction, etc. They can also 
be used as slides for a magic lanteni. — Am, Jour. ScL^ Aprils 
1871, 260. 

duchemin's electric pile. 

M. Duchemin has recently presented to the notice of the 
French Academy of Science a new electrical pile, which is 
so arranged that, on being placed in contact with the sea, it 
instantly becomes, a source of electricity, by means of the 
oxidizing of the liquid which surrounds it, as well as by agi- 
tation and perpetual renewal. His model consisted of a per- 


forated vase, placed on a cross-piece of wood and supported 
on a float. This vase is protected by a cylinder made of 
thick zinc, and pierced with holes, the stem of which repre- 
sents the negative pole. In this vase is plaqed a piece of 
carbon, on top of which the positive conductor pole is placed. 
This piece of carbon is surrounded by fragments of coke and 
perchlpride of iron, and the top of the vase is suitably closed. 
Under the influence of the salt water the zinc decomposes the 
liquid, the hydrogen passes to the perchloride, and the elec- 
tricity is thus exhibited in a very appreciable fonn.— 7 -4, 
June 15,535. 


A French chemist, M. Et^ve, has patented a composition of 
the double acetate of iron and potassa, for the purpose of pro- 
ducing very intense electrical currents, and intended espe- 
cially as a substitute for nitric acid, which, as is known, pro- 
duces very disagreeable nitrous vapors. For this purpose, 
one part, by weight, of the sulphate of iron, and the same 
quantity of the nitrate of potassa, are dissolved in a proper 
quantity of the acetic acid of commerce, the solution being 
aided by a slight degree of heat. The cryBtals which form 
on cooling are to be collected, washed, and dried in the stove. 
— 4 B^ August 1, 747. 


A galvanic element with one liquid, as recently announced, 
consists of a galvanic cell, composed of zinc and carbon, 
placed in a fluid made up of 40 parts of water, 4.5 of bichro- 
mate of potassa, 9 parts of concentrated sulphuric acid, 4 
parts of sulphate of soda, and 4 parts of the double sulphate 
of potassa and iron, this producing a very regular current. 
It is said that the zinc need not be amalgamated, and that no 
gas is evolved. — 5 A^Octoher^ 1870, 446. 


According to Dr. Klein, iron obtained by galvanic deposit 
is not the pure metal, as generally supposed, but is a mixture 
of iron and hydrogen, which, when heated to redness, gives 
off an enormous amount of the gas^ and, while greatly in- 
creasing in bulk, becomes a silver white, very soft, ductile, 


and malleable metal, which decomposes water readily below 
the boiling point, and oxidizes very rapidly. — 1 -d, Septem- 
ber 23, 155. 


It is well known that a deposit of moisture greatly inter- 
feres with the action of electrical machines, experiments often 
wholly failing from this cause, especially in the winter sea- 
son. Mr. F. Dietlen, of Klagenfurt, has devised a method by 
which he obviates this difficulty, consisting simply in a modi- 
fication of the amalgamation of the rubber cushion. For this 
pui'pose he pours petroleum over zinc filings, and adds an 
equal quantity of mercury (though an excess of mercury fa- 
cilitates the process). The mixture is then brought, by/ work- 
ing together in a mortar, to the condition of a homogeneous 
paste, and pressed between a double cloth. A soft mass is 
thus obtained, which, however, soon hardens ; but which, be- 
ing finely pulverized and mixed with a proper quantity of 
grease, is spread upon the rubber cushion. This makes the 
surface quite glossy, and, when the glass disk has previously 
been wiped with a piece of cotton slightly impregnated with 
petroleum or benzine, will act even in damp localities where 
the usual aiTangetnent fails. — 9 6^, 1871, iii., 20. 


Professor Boettger informs us that if a solution of nitrate 
of bismutii be dew)mposed by the galvanic current, an un- 
commonly large amount of ozone is developed at the pole 
connected with the platinum element, while the platinum it- 
self becomes coated with a layer of superoxide of bismuth at 
the same time. By a similar treatment of a silver or lead salt 
there is a like deposit of superoxide of these metals, but with- 
out any special development of ozone. — 15 (7, 1871, xx., 320. 


M. Becqnerel has recently presented a memoir to the Acad- 
emy of Sdiences of Paris upon the celestial origin of atmos- 
pheric electricity, or rather of the positive electricity distrib- 
uted in enoimous quantities in the planetary spaces. This 
he finds in the hydrogen electrized positively which escapes 
continually from the sun. According to modem observa- 


tions the solar spots are in reality cavities, by which the hy- 
drogen, and the various substances composing the solar at- 
mosphere, escape from the photosphere, this hydrogen being 
the result of a decomposition, bringing with it positive elec- 
tricity, which is distributed in the planetary spaces, diminish- 
ing in intensity more and more toward the earth, in conse- 
quence of the poor conducting power of the more and more 
dense strata of the air, and of the superficial crust of the 
earth, this latter being negative only because it is less posi- 
tive than the air. 

For this electricity to be propagated in any medium, some 
substance is necessary as a vehicle ; and it is established, in 
fact, that the luminous properties of electricity belong in a 
great degree, if not entirely, to the ponderable matter across 
which the electric discharges are transmitted. The auroras 
result from the discharges of this electricity, thus explaining, 
according to M. Becquerel, the rustling or crackling sound 
heard by the inhabitants of the polar regions. This occur- 
rence, although apparently well attested, has been denied by 
some ; but the experieuQe of M.Rollier, the intrepid aeronaut 
who was carried in his balloon last December from Paris to 
Norway, and landed upon a snow-covered mountain 10,000 
feet high, confirms this view. This gentleman remarks, in 
his report of the voyage, that while passing through a thin 
fog he perceived the brilliant rays of an aurora tinging every 
thing with its strange light. Very soon a curious and incom- 
prehensible roaring was heard ; but this, after a time, ceased 
entirely, with the development of a decided odor of sulphur, 
which was almost suffocating.— 3 B^ 1871, August 10, 172. 


Professor Ogden K Rood, of Columbia College, in a late 
number oiSiUimarCs Joumdlh2i% an aiticle upon the amount 
of time necessary for vision, and refers to an experiment of 
Wheatstone, which seems to show that distinct vision is pos- 
sible in a period of less than one millionth of a second. . He, 
however, refers to experiments of his own, by which electric 
sparks were produced whose duration was only the forty bil- 
lionth part of a second ; and yet, during their continuance, 
the letters on a printed page were plainly to be seen ; and in 
polariscope observations the cross and rings around the axis 


of crystals could be appreciated, with all their peculiarities. 
He thinks, however, that while this period is sufficient for the 
production of a strong and distinct impression upon the reti- 
na, a smaller interval will suffice for many purposes, and that 
four billionths of a second, and, perhaps, even a shorter time, 
may be sufficient. This» according to the Professor, is not so 
wonderful, if we accept the doctrine of the undulatory theory 
of light, as, according to it, in four billionths of a second 
nearly two and a half millions of the mean undulations of 
light reach and act upon the eye. — 4 D^ September^ 1871,155. 


According to recent researches, petroleum, when exposed 
to solar light, absorbs oxygen and changes it into ozone, al- 
though this does not combine with the oil, the ozone remain- 
ing free, and oxidizing every thing with which it comes in 
contact. Petroleum oils impregnated with ozone have a to- 
tally altered smell, bum with more difficulty, and attack the 
cork stoppers of the vessels very strongly. If the vessels are 
of glass, their color exercises much influence upon the absorp- 
tion of oxygen by the petroleum. Thus petroleum oils, when 
exposed in white glass to solar and daylight, become yellow 
and impregnated with ozone, assuming a greater specific 
gravity, and losing their ready combustibility. This is said 
to be especially the case with American petroleums. The 
practical inference may therefore be deduced that petroleum 
intended for burning should be kept in stone or metal vessels, 
or, if in glass, protected as much as possible against the influ- 
ence of daylight. — 13(7, 1811^ August 11, 1161. 


Mr. H. C. Sorby, well known for his skill in spectrum anal- 
ysis, in reply to certain expressed doubts, maintains that 
.there is no better way of determining the existence of blood, 
under any given circumstances, than its examination by 
means of the spectroscope. The absorption bands are perfect- 
ly ^stinct and well defined, and, indeed, so marked that a 
stain containing less than one hundredth of a grain can be 
recognized even after the lapse of fifty years. In this assc- 
tion he does not wish to be understood as stating that human 
blood can be thus definitely distinguished from that of other 


animals, but simply blood as compared with other animal and 
vegetable coloring substances. — 20 -4, June 10, 668. 


Mr. Christiansen was the first to ascertain that the disper- 
sion of light by fachsine is different from that of other bodies. 
Mr. Kundt has since discovered that nearly all bodies which 
in the solid state show a well-defined surface color have an 
abnormal dispersion spectrum when examined in the form of 
a concentrated solution. In fuchsine, aniline blue, aniline 
green, indigo, indigo carmine, carthamine, murexide, cyanine, 
hyper-manganate of potash, and in carmine, the red light is 
more dispereed than the blue; and in bodies^ with green in 
their surface color, the green in the spectrum is least deflect- 
ed. Thus cyanine, aniline violet, aniline blue, and even in- 
digo carmine, give the colors as follows : green, blue, red — 
the green being least deflected. — 19 (7, xx., 162. 


Professor Church, of Cirencester, has lately applied the 
spectroscope to excellent advantage in deteimining the ques- 
tion of infiltration of sewage into water. In one instance, 
where several cases of typhoid fever had been •developed in 
a particular neighborhood, which it was suspected had been 
caused by the use of water contaminated by drainage from a 
urinal, a few grains of a lithium salt were introduced into the 
urinal. Two hours after, a spectroscopic examination of the 
well-water referred to showed unmistakably the presence of 
lithium, while previously no traces of its existence had been 
found under the same treatment. — 1 A, December 30, 322. 


ProfessorFltlckiger,of Beme,has recently detaileda method 
of preparing a liquid which, exhibits the phenomenon of fluo- 
rescence to a very remarkable degree. If one drop of nitric 
acid be added to about seventy of the essential oil of pepper- 
mint, and the two thoroughly shaken together, the fluid turns 
to a faint yellow color, and then becomes brownish. After 
an hour or more it assumes a brilliant blue-violet, or green- 
ish-blue, when examined by transmitted light. Seen by re- 
flected light, the liquid is of a copper color, and not transpa- 
rent. — 6 A, April 29, 627. 



Professor Tyndall has recently been investigating the cause 
of the blue color of the water of the Lake of Geneva, speci- 
mens having been transmitted to him for the purpose. He 
finds that this color is caused, as had previously been sug- 
gested, by the presence of small mineral particles, probably 
derived from glacier dust (brought into the lake by drain- 
age from glacier streams), of such extreme minuteness as not 
to settle even when the water is allowed to stand for a long 
tima Professor Tyndall furthermore states that not only is 
the light mainly blue from the first moment of its reflection 
from the minute particles, but the less refrangible elements 
which always accompany the blue skre still further abstract- 
ed during the transmission of the scattered light by true 
molecular absorption. These two causes, scattering and ab- 
sorption, he considers sufficient to account satisfactorily for 
the exceptional blueness of both the Lake of Geneva and of 
the Mediterranean Sea. — 12 A^October 20,487. 


Mr. Kundt announces in PoggendorfTs ^'Annalen" that 
where two liquids having different boiling-points are brought 
together, that do not combine with each other, as, for exam- 
ple, water and benzole, water and oil of cloves, water and 
sulphide of carbon, etc., they will boil at a lower tempera- 
ture than when the more volatile of these liquids is brought 
to ebullition by itself. This fact may be placed side by side 
with that lately published, that a Uquid having a boiling 
point higher than that of water can be brought to boil by 
steam applied through pipes in a suitable manner. — 1 A^ 
October 14^191. 


Captain Palmer gave an account to the British Association 
of a remarkable acoustic phenomenon on a certain mountain 
in the peninsula of Mount Sinai, from which loud and myste- 
rious noises are frequently known to proceed. This mountain 
is a peculiar sand-slope, about two hundred feet high, and 
nearly triangular in shape, eighty yards wide at the base, 
narrowing toward the top, where it runs off into three or four 



small guUeys. Sandstone cliffs bound it on each side. The 
sand is of a pale yellowish color, and is so pure and fine, and 
so perfectly dry, and at the same time lies at so high an angle 
(nearly. 30°) with the horizon as to be set in motion by the 
slightest cause. When any considerable quantity is thus in 
motion, rolling slowly down the slope like some viscous fluid, 
then the singular acoustic phenomenon is heard, from which 
the mountain derives its name — at first a deep, swelling, vi- 
bratory moan, rising gradually to a dull roar, loud enough 
when at its height to be almost startling, and then as gradu- 
ally dying away till the sand ceases to roll. Captain Palmer 
states that it is difficult to describe this sound exactly. It is 
not metallic, nor like the sound of a bell, nor yet that of a 
gong ; perhaps the very, hoarsest note of an ^olian harp, or 
the sound produced by rubbing the wet rim of a deep-toned 
finger-glass most closely resembles it, except that the rolling 
sand has less music in it. It may be likened to the noise pro- 
duced by air rushing into the mouth of an empty metal flask 
or bottle, sometimes almost approaching the roar of thunder, 
and then resembling the deeper notes of a violoncello or the 
hum of a humming-top. In the course of two days' experi- 
ments, Captain Palmer ascertained that the hot surface-sand 
was always more productive of sound than the cooler layers 
underneath, the hot particles appearing to run more quickly 
than the cold. — 15 A^ August 19, 246. 


Some of our readers are familiar with the interesting phys- 
ical fact that certain flames are exceedingly sensitive to 
sound, and have seen notices of the experiments of Professor 
Tyndall and Professor Pepper, in London, upon this subject. 
Quite recently, according to Nature^ a new form of sensitive 
flame has been devised by Mr. Barry, of Cork, which is said 
to be the most easily aflected one known, possessing the ad- 
vantage that the ordinary pressure in a gas-main is quite suf- 
ficient to develop it. The method of producing it consists in 
igniting the ordinary coal-gas, not at the burner, but some 
inches above it, by interposing between the burner and the 
flame a piece of wire gauze of about thirty-two meshes to the 
inch. A pin-hole burner is used, so as to produce a conical 


The gauze should he held steadily ahout two inches ahove 
the httmer,hy means of a retort-stand. The flame is a slen- 
der cone ahout four inches high, the upper, portion giving a 
hright yellow light, the hase being a non-luminous blue flame. 
At the least noise this flame roars, sinking down to the sui^ 
face of the gauze, becoming at the same time almost invis- 
ible. It is very active in its responses, and being rather a 
noisy flame, its sympathy is apparent to the ear as well as to 
the eye. 

To the vowel sounds it does not seem to answer so dis- 
criminately as the vowel flame of Professor Tyndall. It is 
extremely sensitive to a, very slightly to 6, more so to ^, en- 
tirely insensitive to o, b»t slightly sensitive to u. It dances 
in the most perfect manner to a small musical snufl*-box, and 
is highly sensitive to most of the sonorous vibrations which 
aflect the vowel flame, though it possesses some points of dif- 
ference. — 12 Ay November 9, 18Y1, 30. 


In a careful inquiry lipon the heat of combustion of stone- 
coal by Scheurer-Kestner and Meunier, the conclusion was 
reached that during the formation of coal a certain quantity 
of heat must have been absorbed, since the theoretical heat 
of combustion was always less than that actually observed. 
In our entirje ignorance of the constitution of coal, it is im- 
possible, however, according to the authors, to determine the 
nature of this. absorption. It would furthermore appear that, 
from our want of knowledge of the composition of coal, we 
can not calculate the heat of combustion. Two coals of pre- 
cisely the same chemical composition may and do afibrd very 
di^rent degrees of heat in combustion. — 18 C, xxxiii., -4w^- 
w«« 16,1871,523. 


In a memoir by Mohr upon the heat evolved in the forma- 
tion of aqueous solutions, it is stated that the fall of temper- 
ature occasioned by the solution of salt in water, or by mix- 
ing salt with snow, is to be ascribed to a change in the state 
of aggregation. Referring, however, to the fact that a fall 
of temperature is observed when an aqueous solution of com- 



mon salt is mixed with an additional quantity of water, when 
no liquefaction takes place, he remarks that this explanation 
does not account for the loss of heat, but Jbhat part of the 
heat disappears and becomes latent, or enters the body in 
such a manner as to give rise to a new and permanent qual- 
ity, namely, lower freezing-point. — 21 -4, IX.,e/t%, 1871, 476. 


It is stated by the London Athenoeum that Mr. C. P. Var* 
ley, the well-known electrician, has devised a method by 
which four currents of electricity can be delivered simulta- 
neously by a single wire, even in opposite directions. 

■ • 



In a paper by MM. A. de la Rive and E. Sarasin, in the J3^ 
lioMgue UhiverseUej the. following conclusions are announced 
as the result of a long series of experiments upon the action 
of magnetism on gases traversed by electrical currents : 1. 
The action of magnetism. exerted upon a portion only of an 
electric jet traversing a rarefied gas causes an augmentation 
of density in this portion. 2. This action exerted upoa an 
electric jet placed equatoriaUy between the poles of an elec<- 
tro-magnet produces in the rarefied gas an augmentation of 
resistance propoii;ional to the conductivity of the gas itself. 
3. On the contrary, it causes a corresponding dimintUion of 
resistance when the jet is axially between the two magnetic 
poles. 4. When the action of the magnetism is to impress a 
continuous movement of rotation upon the electric jet, it has 
no influence upon the conductivity if the rotation be in the 
plane perpendicular to the axis of the iron cylinder detaining 
the rotation, and diminishes it considerably if the rotation 
takes place so that the jet describes a cylinder round the 
axis. 5. These effects do not seem to be due to variations of 
density, but to perturbations in the arrangement of the par- 
ticles of the rarefied gas.— 12 A^Jvly 20, 236, 




Dr. Phipson recommends very warmly the employment of 
aluminium in the manufacture of very small weights. The 
advantages, as set forth by him, are their immunity from the 
inconvenience attaching to the use of brass weights in a 
chemical laboratory, in retaining their brilliancy untarnished, 
and in not losing their value by oxidation. The much great- 
er bulk occupied by a given weight, as compared with brass 
or other metal, enables one to handle them much more read- 
ily, and a <5onsiderably smaller weight can be used, without 
inconvenience, than has been generally thought practicable 
in such cases. A set used by Dr. Phipson contains fourteen 
weights, from half a gramme to one and a half milligrammes, 
the latter (less than the one fortieth of a grain) not being 
very easily handled when made of any other metal. — 1 -4, 
October UylSl. 


Professor Calvert, after repeated experiments, has found 
that pure dry oxygen does not determine the oxidation of 
iron, and that moist oxygen has but feeble action ; also that 
dry or moist pure carbonic acid has no action, but that when 
moist oxygen containing traces of carbonic acid is brought 
into contact with iron, the latter rusts with great rapidity. 
He concludes, therefore, that carbonic acid is the agent which 
determines the oxidation of iron, and that it is the presence 
of ca\rbonic acid in the atmosphere, and not its oxygen or its 
watery vapor, that produces the oxidation of iron exposed to 
common air. In one experiment he found that if clean blades 
of the best quality of iron be placed in water which has been 
well boiled, and deprived of its oxygen and carbonic acid, 
they will not rust for several weeks ; and that if a similar 
blade be half immersed in a bottle containing equal volumes 
of pure distilled water and oxygen, the portion dipping in 
the water becomes rapidly oxidized, while the upper portion 
remains unaltered. But if to the atmosphere be ^44e4 spm^ 



carbonic acid, chemical reaction on the exposed portion, with 
rapid oxidation, tak^s place immediately. 

In reference to the fact, first published by Berzelius, that 
caustic alkalies prevent the oxidation of iron, he remarks, as 
the result of special experiments on this subject, that the car- 
bonates and bicarbonates of the alkalies possess the same 
property as their hydrates ; and that if an iron blade be half 
immersed in a solution of such carbonates, they exercise such 
a preservative influence on that portion of the bar which is 
expoised to the atmosphere or common air (oxygen and car- 
bonic acid) that it does not oxidize even after a period of 
two years. — 1 A, March 3, 98. 


Hydrate of chloral may in many cases, according to a Ger- 
man pharmaceutical journal, be conveniently applied to the 
reduction of precious metals. For this purpose a solution of 
gold, platinum, etc., is mixed with hydrate of chloral and an 
excess of caustic potash or soda, and the whole heated to- 
gether. After boiling for about one minute the reduction is 
complete, and the precipitate is easily washed. In the case 
of silver the action is especially satisfactory, but solutions of 
salts of mercury are not reduced. — 14 (7, 1871, vi., 513. 


Native sulphides of metals often occur of much valtie in a 
metallurgical point of view, but which can not be reduced in 
consequence of the great scarcity of fuel. Dr. Kopp, in a re- 
cent paper, mentions the results of a series of experiments 
upon such substances, for the purpose of ascertaining wheth- 
er certain cheap and abundant chemical reagents can be made 
to act upon the minerals in question (without at the same 
time affecting their gangue), so as to bring them into a con- 
dition fit for being readily converted into metals. The re- 
agents named as suitable for the purpose in question are 
common salt, chloride of iron, and hydrochloric acid. In this 
paper it is stated that the most economical method of ex- 
tracting the small quantity of copper present in previously 
buiTied pyrites consists in first exposing the burned substance 
to heat and moisture, and then pouring over the material a 
solution of common salt. A small addition of hydrochloric 


acid is useful, and the copper in this way becomes converted 
into a soluble chloride. — 5 A, October^ 1870, 424. 


A method of reducing ores by means of chloride of iron has 
recently been patented, which is specially adapted to the ex- 
traction of metals alloyed with sulphur, arsenic, or antimony. 
The process depends upon the fact that chloride of iron,. in 
the presence of air. and water, readily decomposes sulphur, 
arsenic, and antimonial covnbinations, iron or copper pyrites, 
the sulphurets of cobalt, nickel, sulphuret.of antimony, lead* 
silver, etc. The chloride of iron is reduced to chloruret of 
iron, and the metals transferred into chlorides, the chlorui*et 
of iron being again changed to chloride by the influence of 
the oxygen of the atmosphere, etc. . If among the ores to be 
manipulated there be too little sulphur, it is well to add, 
from time to time, a little free acid, such as nitric, in order to 
assist the reconstitution of the chloride of iron. With iron 
or copper pyrites it is only necessary to add common salt, 
since the sulphur of the ore is oxidized by means of the chlo- 
ride of iron and atmospheric air, with the result of producing 
sulphate of irpn or sulphate of copper. — 13 (7, 1871,e/w«6l, 
II., 714. 


, A process for the colorometric estimation of the quantity 
of gold in quartz has been submitted by Mr. Skey, of the gov- 
ernment laboratory, to the Philosophical Society of Welling- 
ton, New Zealand, which is said to meet all requirements 
without the necessity of using quicksilver. The stone to be 
estimated, after having been thoroughly crushed and calcined, 
is immersed in a bath of iodine or bromine, and permitted to 
stand for some time. Slips of Swedish filtering-paper are 
then dipped in the fluid and dried alternately until the paper 
is thoroughly saturated, after which they are burned in a 
muffle. If no gold be present the ashes will be white, but 
one pennyweight to the ton will give them a beautiful pur- 
ple color. It is believed that further experiments, with io- 
dine or bromine baths, of known contents of gold, will enable 
the exact proportion of gold to be tested by the colorometric 
method.-7-8 -4, October 1, 181. 



The attention of Mr. Skey, of the Geological Survey of 
New Zealand, was called to a reported loss of gold during 
the process of extraction by mercury, and he found, on care- 
ful examination, that numerous samples of bright, clean-look- 
ing gold of two degrees of fineness refused to amalgamate on 
any part of their natural surfaces, and he ascertained by ex- 
periment that on such surfaces sulphur is always present. 
He also found that native pure gCld will readily absorb sul- 
phur from moist sulphuret of hydrogen or sulphide of ammo- 
nium, and that surfaces so treated refuse to amalgamate, al- 
though exhibiting no apparent change in their surfaces. He 
shows, however, that by roasting in an open fire, or by bring- 
ing it in contact with cyanide of potassium, chromic and ni- 
tric acid, and chloride of lime acidified, gold so affected is 
rendered amalgamable, unless copper be present to the ex- 
tent of seven per cent., or perhaps less. — 1 -4, 1870, 282. 


An alloy, known as the AUiage tiers argent, or third silver 
alloy, has been assayed, and has been ascertained to be com- 
posed of copper, 59.06 parts; silver, 27.66 ; zinc, 9.67 ; nickel, 
3.44, making a total of 99.63 parts. Its external color is pre- 
cisely similar to that of pure silver, but on the fracture, which 
is finely granular, the color is light yellow, with a shade into 
reddish. — 13 0^ August 11,1222. 


It is sometimes a matter of interest to be able to determine, 
by means of a simple test, the nature of a silvery coating to 
a metal, whether it be pure silver or some other substance. 
This is said to be readily accomplished by the use of a cold 
saturated solution of bichromate of potash in pure nitric acid, 
of one and two tenths specific gravity. The surface of the 
article to be tested is to be first washed with strong alcohol, 
so as to remove any lacquering, and then a drop of the solu- 
tion applied by means of a glass rod, the place affected being 
immediately after rinsed off with water. If the substance in 
question be silver, a distinct blood-red spot of chromate of 
silver will be perceived. The spot is brown on German sil- 


ver, and after rinsing shows no trd.ce of red. With Britannia 
(composed of tin, antimony/ and a little copper) a black spot 
will be developed, but no effect will be seen with platinum. 
Upon a surface amalgamated with mercury a reddish-brown 
deposit will be perceived, which is completely washed away 
on rinsing. With lead and bismuth a yellow deposit remains. 
Zinc becomes strongly etched, the liquid, however, disappear- 
ing completely on rinsing. Tin is attacked also very decided- 
ly, but the test liquid 4mparts a brownish color, and an addi- 
tion of water produces a yellow deposit which readily attach- 
es itself to the metal. — 8 (7, 1870, 411. 


The copper-mining industry of Cornwall is said, according 
to the Athenaeum^ to be suffering from a new form of compe- 
tition. Iron pyrites, it is stated, is now imported in immense 
quantities from Sweden and Norway for the manufacture of 
sulphuric acid, and, after the sulphur is extracted, is operated 
upon for the two per cent, of copper which it contains. About 
4000 tons of metal were obtained in 1869 from this source, 
while the entire yield from the native ores the same year was 
only about 8000 tons.— 14 C, CO., 242. 


An improved method of manufacturing bronze consists in 
introducing phosphorus in some form durifig the process of 
melting the copper, tin, or other metals which form the basis 
of the compounds, the effect being to very greatly improve 
the quality as regards elasticity, hardness, and toughness. — 
8 Ay January^ 1871, No. 6. 


It is stated that if 4 parts of sodium are mixed with 2\ of 
potassium, the alloy will have exactly th^ appearance and 
consistency of mercury, remaining liquid at the ordinary tem- 
perature of the air. — 1 A^ August 6, 72. 

. ■♦ ' 


It is said that, in consequence of the announcements made 
some months ago before the Academy of Sciences of Paris in 
reference to the subject of malleable bronze, this substance is 



now likely to come into practical use in European and Amer- 
ican art. The existence of sucii a substance has long been 
known from specimens of very ancient origin, and fi'om its 
use by the Chinese in the construction of their tom-toms. It 
may be prepared from bell-metal bronze, to which twenty per 
cent, of tin has been added, and heating to a dark red. This 
generally brittle metal thus becomes malleable, and can be 
readily forged and rolled out from a thickness of three or 
four millimetres to that of a half to a quarter of a millimetre. 
In the operation the density of the metal is increased, and it 
can be welded easily, preserving. its entire homogeneity. The 
whole secret rests in giving the bronze the proper degree of 
heat, since without this it remains brittle. — 8 (7, xxvil, July 


For the purpose of coating fabrics and tissues with metal, 
such as copper, silver, and gold, the material is firet to be im- 
pregnated with a solution of sulphate of copper in ammonia, 
and then dried. After drying, the whole is immersed in a 
warm sojution of grape sugar,' which develops oxide of cop- 
per, upon which silver or gold can be electroplated in the 
usual way. — 13 (7, 1870, 367. 


According to C. Puscher, of Nuremberg, zinc utensils may 
be durably coated with iron in the following manner : Five 
ounces of pure sulphate of iron and three ounces qf sal am- 
moniac are first dissolved in five pounds of boiling water, and 
the objects to be treated immediately immersed. . After from 
one to two minutes, the loose black deposit is removed by 
brushing it off with water. The principal effect of this opera- 
tion is a perfect cleaning of the surface. The immersion in 
the hot iron solution is then repeated, with the difference that 
the objects when taken out are heated, without rinsing, over 
a pan of live coals as long as the ammohiacal vapors are 
evolved. When, after severiA immersions, the coating is con- 
sidered thick enough, it is pplished by brushing, and will ever 
afterward be a perfect protection against oxidation. It ina- 
parts a fine black lustre to the coated surfaces. — 14 G CO., 47. 



An important improvement in the electroplating of metal- 
lic objects with nickel has been patented by Mr. Adams, of 
Boston, and is now worked in several of our cities with much 
success, the result being to give to a gi*eat variety of articles, 
such as knives, forks, surgical and dental instruments, stair- 
rods, andirons, students' lamps, plumbers' materials, etc., a 
coating resembling polished steel, and quite as hard, and 
which is proof against ordinary oxidizing or other influences, 
retaining a high polish for ^ long period of time. 

The special feature of Mr. Adams's invention, and that 
upon which the patent mainly rests, consists in the exclusion 
of the smallest quantity of potash, soda, or other alkaline 
earth from the bath containing the nickelizing preparation; 
pure double chloride of nickel and ammonium, or the perfect- 
ly pure sulphate of nickel and ammonia, and perfectly pure 
nickel being also required, as one of the electrodes, the nickel 
adhering regularly and strongly in consequence, and only 
needing polishing after the metal coated over is taken from 
the bath. 

It seems, however, that this precaution, as indicated by Mr. 
Adams, is not necessary, and that the general process may be 
prosecuted by any one without infringement of the patent, 
as, according to M. Becquerel, potassa in no way affects in- 
juriously the deposition of nickel, since the double sulphate 
of nickel and potassa can be applied as well as the double 
sulphate of nickeland ammonia ; but if the positive electrode 
is not made of nickel, it is necessary to add free ammonia in 
order to saturate the sulphuric acid which is set free. — 8 A, 
October 1, 185. 


Professor Stolba, of the polytechnic laboratory of the Poly- 
tecbnicon of Prague, a chemist who has been the first to an- 
nounce to the world several important technical discoveries, 
especially in reference to the plating of metals, has just pub- 
lished, in Dingleits Polytechnic Journal^ an article upon the 
method of dAiting metals of all kinds with nickel and cobalt 
in the wet way, or by boiling ; and he thinks that it will be 
quite possible to imitate the effect of, and even to furnish a 





satisfactory substitute for, the method by electroplating, 
which has lately come so generally into use. 

The value of nickel plating is, of course, well understood, 
and it is now very much used wherever polished iron or brass 
is liable to corrode, as is particularly the case in the vicinity 
of salt water. In large yachts, where expense is no consid- 
eration, all the metal work, as also the machinery of sea-going 
steamers, is often treated in this way ; a notable instance of 
which may be seen in the yacht Resolute, a splendid vessel 
lately built for Mr. A. S. Hatch, of New York. 

The details of Professor Stolba's process are too compli- 
cated for our pages ; but we may say, in general terms, that 
it depends upon the action of salts of nickel in the presence 
of chloride of zmc and of the metal to be coated. The snb- 
stanpes required are : first, a suitable vessel foi* conducting 
the operation, which may be of porcelain or metal ; second, a 
suitable salt of nickel, which may be either chloride, sulphate, 
or the sulphate of nickel and potassa ; third, a solution of chlo- 
ride of zinc ; fourth, clippings of sheet zinc or zinc wire and 
powdered zinc ; fifth, pure Jiydrochloric acid. Cobaltizing, 
as Professor Stolba terms it, is conducted in very much the 
same way — a salt of cobalt being used in place of the salt 
of nickel.— 14 (7, CCL, 145. 


A process devised by Mr. Nagel, of Hamburg, for coating 
iron, steel, and other oxidizable metals with an electro de- 
posit of nickel or cobalt consists in taking 400 parts, by 
weight, of pure sulphate of the protoxide of nickel by crys- 
tallization, and 200 parts, by weight, of pure ammonia, so as 
to form a double salt, which is then dissolved in 6000 parts 
of distilled water, and 1200 parts of ammoniacal solution, of 
the specific gravity of 0.909, added. The electro deposit is 
effected by an ordinary galvanic current, using a platinum 
positive pole, the solution being heated to about 100^ Fahr- 
enheit. The strength of the galvanic current is regulated 
according to the number of objects to be coated. For coat- 
ing with cobalt, 138 parts, by weight, of pure sulphate of co- 
balt are combined with 69 parts of pure ammoAa, to form a 
double salt, which is then dissolved in 1000 parts of distilled 
water, and 120 parts of ammoniacal solution, of the same spe- 


cifio gravity as before, are added. The process of deposi- 
tion with cobalt is the same as with nickeL — 3 A^ August 


A valqable recipe for tinning copper, brass, and iron in the 
x3old, and without complicated apparatus, has recently been 
published by Prof. Stolba, of Prague. A prerequisite is that 
the article Vo be tinned be perfectly free from oxide or grease 
of any kind, it being necessary that the surface be cleaned in 
the most careful manner, although it is immaterial whether 
this be done by mechanical or chemical means, so that the 
desired object be effected. 

The substances used in the process are, first, powdered zinc, 
which may be the ordins^y zinc dust, called sometimes zinc 
gray, but that which is prepared expressly for the purpose 
will be best. For this it is only necessary to melt som^ pure 
zinc, and pour it into a previously warmed iron mortar. As 
soon as it has become hardened it can be readily pulverized, 
and should then be freed from its coarser grains by sifting. 
The proper fineness is that of ordinary writing-sand. 

The next ingredient is a five to ten per cent, solution of the 
salt of tin (simple chloride of tin), to which is to be added as 
much powdered cream of tartar as can be taken up on the 
point of a knife. Next is required a piece of sponge, or a pad 
of some kind. The process of tinning is extremely simple. 
The pad is first to be dipped iii the solution of salt of tin, and 
applied to the object to be tinned, so as to moisten it thor- 
oughly. A small quantity of the zinc powder having been 
spread out on a glass plate, a portion of this powder is then 
to be taken up by the pad, and quickly and finnly rubbed 
upon the article in hand. The tinning makes its appearance 
almost immediately, and, in order that the surface may be 
coated ui^iforraly, it is only necessary to dip the pad alter- 
nately into the solution of tin (which is to be kept in a little 
dish) and into the zinc powder, and then to apply it. After 
the operation is completed, which, for small objects, requires 
only one or two minutes, the article is to be washed off in 
water, and then cleaned with Tripoli, or polishing powder. 
The effect of this application upon polished brass or copper is 
extremely beautiful, the surface resembling silver, and keep* 


ing its lustre for a long time. The author of the process has 
applied it to grieat advantage in his .laboratory for the pur- 
pose of coating articles of iron, steel, and copper, thereby pro- 
tecting them against rust. One difficulty in the process re- 
sults from the fact that only a very thin layer of tin can be 
applied. Should it become practicable to impart a thicker 
coating, it will probably acquire great importance. Experi- 
ments upon nickelizing metallic substances in a similar man- 
ner are in course of progress by the author, although thus far 
without satisfactory result.—! 4 C^CXCYllt,^ December A^ 308. 
We learn that Professor Stolba's experiments have been re- 
peated with much success. The tinning of cast-iron, wrought 
iron, steel, copper, and brass is found to be very satisfactory, 
the tin adhering very firmly, even when in very thin layers. 
Diluted sulphuric acid, however, it is said, generally produced 
dark spots and removed the coating. Experiments have been 
made'to apply the same process for the oi-namentation of me- 
tallic objects* These were tried especially upon cast-iron ar- 
ticles electroplated with copper, where the projecting edges 
were tinned, with excellent effect. As greasy spots can not 
be tinned, it is only necessary to apply very thin layers of oil 
to the places where no deposit is desired in order to coat the 
•remainder of the article with tin, thus producing a striking 
contrast. — 6(7, v., 49. 


The usual method of obtaining galvanoplastic plates from 
matrices of an organic nature consists in either coating the 
surface with graphite or a powdery deposit of silver, or else 
imparting conductivity by sulphide of silver. These methods 
are only suitable for rough work, since the delicate gelatine 
reliefs produced in the operation are decidedly affected by the 
sprinkling of the substances mentioned, which destroy the 
sharpness of the detail. It is, therefore, much better to pro- 
duce a deposit of silver directly upon the gelatine in the sun- 
light, which, in consequence of the presence of an organic 
substance, will be in a state of purity, and attached uniformly 
and continuously upon the surface. For this pui^pose the 
gelatine relief sheet is to be fixed to a glass plate by means 
of copal varnish, and allowed to remain for an hour in a con- 
centrated solution of tannin, in order to render it insoluble in 


water. It is then immersed in a silver bath until' the entire 
surface of the relief is moistened. A copper wire, bent at 
right angles, is now to be moved over the horizontal surface 
of the object so as to touch the surface when placed in the 
sunlight. The silver is then deposited in the form of little 
rays upon the copper wire, and becomes a lustrous continuous 
coating upon that portion of the object touched by the cop- 
per. The plate is next to be taken out as horizontally as pos- 
sible from the solution, and.laid in the sunlight to dry. The 
superfluous silver is then to be washed off with water; leaving 
behind a silvery layer, which is an excellent conductor of the 
galvanic current, so that a satisfactory result will be obtained 
with a small amount of electricity. — 14 (7, C, 315. 


According to a formula published by Grttne for silvering 
or gilding silk, the silk is to be soaked with a five per cent, 
solution of iodide of potassium, and dried ; then (in non-ac- 
tinic light) dipped in a five per cent, solution of nitrate of 
silver, containing a few drops of nitric acid, and well drain- 
ed; next exposed for a few minutes to sunlight, and then 
dipped in a two per cent, solution of sulphate of iron. It 
immediately becomes gray from reduction of metallic silver, 
and, after washing and drying, only requires burnishing in 
order to acquire the metallic lustre. By repeating this treat- 
ment, varied, however, by adding a little free iodine to the 
solution of iodidQ of potassium, the silver deposit becomes 
stronger. By laying the silvered silk in a very weak solution 
of chloride of gold the silver becomes chloride, and gold is 
deposited ; and by then removing the chloride of silver by a 
solution of hyposulphite of soda, washing, drying, and bur- 
nishing, the appearance of gilding is produced, if the deposit 
of metal be sufficiently thick. The purest chemicals must 
be used in order to secure satisfactory results. — Jour, Chem, 
Soe. Lond,^ ISll^Jfune, 450. 


According to Mr. Schott, the different qualities of iron and 
steel can readily be distinguished by means of the micro- 
scope. Thus the crystals of iron are double pyramids, in 
which the propoition of the axes to the bases varies with the 


quality of the iron. The smallness of the crystals, and the 
height of the pyramids composing each element, are in pro- 
portion to the quality and density of the metal, which are 
seen also in the fineness of the surface. As the proportion 
of the carbon diminishes in the steel, the pyramids have so 
much the less height. 

In pig-iron, and the lower qualities of hard steel, the crys^ 
tals approach more closely the cubic form. Forged iron has 
its pyramids flattened and reduced to superposed parallel 
leaves, whose structure constitutes what is called the nerve 
of the steel. The best quality of steel has all its crystals 
disposed in parallel lines, each crystal filling in the interstices 
between the angles of those adjoining. These crystals have 
their axes in the direction of the percussion they undergo 
during the working. Practically, good steel, examined under 
the microscope, has the appearance of large groups of beau- 
tiful crystals, similar to the points of needles, all parallel and 
disposed in the same direction. — 8 Ay S^tember 1,168. 


A method recently suggested for freeing iron from its del- 
eterious impurities consists in first forming an alloy of the 
iron with one of the alkaline metals, either sodium or potas- 
sium, which is done by forcing the vapor of either into a 
mass of molten iron. To do this with the pure metal would, 
of course, be inexpedient, on account of the expense; but the 
same result may, it is said, be obtained by saturating the coal 
or coke used to reduce the iron with a solution of carbonate 
of soda, and drying it before it goes into the furnace, ok by 
adding common salt to the fluxing materials. Sodium will, 
it is asserted, enter into combination with the iron in either 
case. This, perhaps, is somewhat questionable. The alloy, 
when prepared, is to be melted, and ^ current of moist air, or 
moist carbonic oxide, eent through it Decomposition en- 
sues, and the alkaline metal combines readily with any met- 
alloid, such as silicon, sulphur, or phosphorus, removing them 
from their mixture, and leaving a pure iron under some cir- 
cumstances, and pure steel under others. — 8 -4, Julf/^ 129. 



A French investigator, in the course of certain experiments 
upon steel prepared by the Heaton process — which, it ap- 
pears, contains a rather larger proportion of phosphorus than 
the Bessemer steel — concludes that phosphorus, in a quantity 
of from two to four thousandths in steel, causes the metal to 
be rigid, and, while tending to increase the elasticity and re- 
sistance to breaking, does not modify the hardness. Such 
steel, horwever, he thinks, is wanting in real strength and 
toughness, being brittle, and not sustaining sudden shocks.* 
His general conclusion is that even very small quantities of 
phosphorus, when present in steel, not only do not improve 
it, as has been asserted, but actually deteriorate it. The best 
method of estimating the percentage of phosphorus in steel 
is said to be the examination of the spectrum produced by 
the combustion of hydrogen obtained by the action of chlo- 
rohydric acid upon the metal. — i A^ March 26, 142. 


In view of the great eminence of the Mining Academy at 
Freiburg as a school for instruction in practical metallurgy 
and mining, it may be of interest to know that one of its pro- 
fessors, T. Scheerer, has lately announced that he has ^sc^v- 
ered a method by which an excellent bar-iron may be pre- 
pared from cast-iron containing any amount of phosphorus. 
The expense of the process (which is not at all complicated 
nor very peculiar) is said to be trifling, and the discovery 
must be considered of the utmost value to workers in iron. 
Although it has been patented in various countries, the dis- 
coverer is quite willing to place it at the service of iron-mas- 
ters throughout the world at a very moderate rate. With- 
out as yet announcing his terms, he invites all persons inter- 
ested to visit the establishment in Germany, where iron is at 
present being manufactured according to the new method. — 
14 (7, CO., 242. 


Many methods have been indicated of late years for man- 
ufacturing steel direct from pig-iron, that of Bessemer being 
well known, and worked in a great many establishments in 



Europe and Amenca. According to the Mechanic^ Maga- 
zine^ a rival to this method is to be found in the system of 
Berard, as adopted at the steel-works in Givors, in France. 
The principal features of this are, first, the employment of 
gas, acting at once as a heating and reacting agient in im- 
proving the quality of the iron by a partial purification, be- 
fore throwing off such injurious bodies as sulphur, phospho- 
rus, arsenic, etc. ; second, the ability to employ iron of a sec- 
ondary quality to obtain steel for certain special purposes, 
as rails, tires, etc. ; third, by the combined action of air and 
•gas, in being able to act alternately by means of oxidation 
and reduction in keeping the waste at a minimum, and by 
decarbonizing and recarbonizing, to regulate at will, and with 
certainty, the nature of the product to be obtained. 

The details of the method are too technical to be given 
here, although the results are recommended by their excel- 
lence and the economy in cost in obtaining them. The op- 
eration requires from an hour to an hour and a half, and the 
process is so conducted that the manipulation can be arrested 
at any moment, and any desired quality of steel obtained. — 
3^,1871,Ji?n7 7,233. 


Jn the course of certain remai-ks respecting the production 
of aKificial charcoal iron, Mr. Berthault observes that both 
Bessemer and Heaton base their systems upon the purifica- 
tion of the pigs by oxidizing reaction, either of nitrate of 
soda or of nitrate of potash ; but, referring to the quantities 
of alkaline salts contained in various fuels, Mr! Berthault re- 
marks that the results appear to prove that soda or potash 
salts, thrown into the blast-furnace at the same time as the 
ore and fuel, would give with coke or other mineral fuel a 
metal closely resembling charcoal iron, and even a steely pig. 
Every thing will depend upon the quantity of soda or of pot- 
ash added, and he contends that the best salt to employ is 
the neutral carbonate of potash, such as is obtained from 
vegetable sources, and commonly known as pearlash. To 
obtain iron of uniform quality in the blast-furaace, it is de- 
sirable to mix the salt with some glutinous liquids, such as 
blood and water, and dampen the coke with it. — 8 -4, April 
1, 65. 



From recent iuvestigatious of Sneller, we are informed that 
thegraphite segregated in gray oxide of iron consists of pure 
carbon, bat that there is no free graphite-like silicon associ- 
ated with it, although some occurs in combination. The 
quantity of carbon which remains enveloped in the harden- 
ing of a. fluid cast-iron appears to 'be dependent on the pro- 
portion in which the carbon was dissolved in the liquid iron, 
and upon the rapidity with which the transformation took 
place from the liquid to the solid state, rather than upon the 
quantity of foreign elements, such as manganese, sulphur, 
phosphorus, silicon, etc., thus not upon the height of the tem- 
perature at which the iron was. treated. While in puddling, 
nearly all the silicon is burned before the carbon becomes 
oxidized, this process of oxidation in the Bessemer method 
comes on about equally with the two elements, if not even 
more rapidly with the silicon. The remarkable fact that the 
same amount of silica which makes the Bessemer and cast 
steel cold-short does not aifect the quality of. wrought iron 
under all conditions appears to depend upon the circumstance 
that steel contains the silica in a state of chemical combina- 
tion, while in wrought iron it only occurs as a slag. — 18 (7, 
XL, Ai^gust 2, 493. 


The presence of plumbago in gneiss, mica slate, clay slate, 
granular limestone, etc., according to Dr. R. Wagner, is de- 
pendent upon the chemical reaction of the decomposition of 
cyanogen and its combinations. This is illustrated, and in a 
measure proved, in Dr. Wagner's opinion, by the formation 
of graphite, as has been seen to take place in Le Blanc's soda 
manufactory. At a certain stage of the transformation of the 
soda into caustic soda cyanogen undergoes a decomposition, 
and graphite, or plumbago, is developed in abundance. ut>on 
the surface of the lye. The amount produced is so great as 
to have suggested a source for graphite in the manufacture 
of lead-pencils, should the inines of the natural material ever 
fail. Quite lai^ge masses of this graphite are obtained as;a 
secondary product of the soda-works in a chemical establish- 
ment at Aussig, in Bohemia. — 14 (7, CXCVIII., 176. 


Mr. Hermann considers that the usnal method of determin- 
ing carbon in steel by the colometric process of Eggertz is 
not reliable, especially when the amount of carbon is large 
and needs to be ascertained with accuracy, but comes to the 
conclusion that the direct burning of iron in a stream of oxy- 
gen is the most expeditious and accurate method. — 15 A, 
June 24, 841. 


Gunning has discovered in acetate of zinc a reagent that 
precipitates the slightest traces of the coloring matter of 
blood from solutions, even where the liquids are so dilute as 
to be colorless. Blood washed from the hands in a pfeil of 
water can readily be detected in this way. The flocculent 
precipitate thrown down by acetate of zinc must be washed 
by decantation, and finally collected on a watch-glass and 
allowed to dry, when the microscope will readily reveal hae- 
min crystals if.any blood be present. — 16 -4, e/w/y, 1871, 401. 


A new process, it is stated, has recently been discovered 
for obtaining hydrogen gas in large quantities. Alkaline 
earths are heated with coke or charcoal to a red heat, when 
carbonic acid hydrogen are freely eliminated. The carbonic 
acid is absorbed by water, and the pure hydrogen is collected 
in a separate reservoir. 


According to M. Jacobi, of St. Petersburg, iron obtained by 
galvanic deposit possesses the peculiarity of being so hard as 
to scratch glass and to be very brittle ; but when heated, its 
color becomes deeper, its hardness and brittleness are lost, 
and its specific gravity considerably increased. This fact led 
the experimenter to believe that the iron, as at first deposited, 
might contain gas in its substance, and on heating a small 
quantity carefully nearly eighteen volumes of gas, chiefly hy- 
^ogen, were driven off and collected. — 5 -4, 1870, 101. 




Mr. Hunter, of London, has lately shown that the qnantity 
of gas absorbed by charcoal increases with the amount of 
pressure to which it is exposed, and that equal variation in 
pressure produces nearly equal variation in the quantity of 
the absorbed gas. — 16 (7,1871, 118. 


Dr. Hermann Vohl^ of Cologne, has lately published an elab- 
orate pap& in the Archiv der Pharmacie upon the absorbent 
power of charcoal and its application for disinfectant and de- 
odorizing purposes, replete with suggestions of great impor- 

Among other deductions from his experiments, he states 
that the carbonic acid gas obtained by heating charcoal is 
not derived from the coal itself, but has been absorbed from 
the atmosphere, and is held with such tenacity that it can 
not be driven out by boiling in water, but that a temperature 
much below that of ignition is sufficient to expel it. This 
conclusion is the same as that which had been reached by an- 
other experimenter, to which we have previously made refer- 
ence. Among other facts proving this statement. Dr. Vohl 
remarks that when charcoal has been once freed from its car- 
bonic acid and saturated with' pure oxygen, no trace of car- 
bonic acid is appreciable, even when heated to a temperature 
of 680° Fahrenheit.— 2 C, June 8, 1 77. 


According to Mr. Skey, of the Geological Survey of New 
Zealand, carbonate of lime is alkaline rather than neutral, as 
shown by the fact that when prepared by igniting pure oxa- 
late of lime in a close crucible, at a dull red heat, it gives an 
intense alkaline reaction with reddened litmus paper, after 
moistening with water, or after reignition with pure carbon- 
ate of ammonia ; carbonate of lime, prepared directly from 
chloride of calcium and bicarbonate of soda, giving the same 
reaction with test-paper. Other experiments are specified, 
all tending to substantiate the same general proposition. — 
6 A, OetobeTy 1 870, 423. 



According to Professor Pollatti, human blood contains man- 
ganese as one of its essential elements ; and, concluding that 
the same metal would be found in milk, he examined various 
specimens of human milk, as also that of cows, goats, and oth- 
er animals, and in every case he found unmistakable evidence 
of the presence of this metal, the quantity in milk appearing 
to be greater than that in an equal quantity of blood.-^13ul, 
June 11^ 2S1, 

Aqueous solvent fob sulphur. • 

Various experiments have been made for the purpose of 
finding an aqueous solvent for sulphur, this being considered 
a very great desideratum in facilitating the use of this sub- 
stance as a medicine. Dr. Pole announces that if flowers of 
sulphur, previously well washed and dridfl at 2 12° Fahrenheit, 
are mixed with an aqueous solution of pure anhydrous car- 
bonate 6f soda, and the whole digested together at a temper- 
ature of 212° for ten hours, an appreciable quantity of sulphur 
will be taken up. Linseed oil is another solvent for sulphur, 
the amount increasing with the increase of temperature. — 
1 Ay October 28, 214. 



Mr. Vincent, in remarking Upon the readiness with which 
broken ice resolidifies at temperatures above the freezing 
point, calls attention to the same general principle seen in 
other cases. Among these he cites rosin, which^ when freed 
from turpentine, and subjected to pressure in a melted condi- 
tion, or otherwise, at ordinary temperatures, becomes com- 
pletely pulverized, its particles showing no cohesive pow- 
er whatever. If, however, the temperature of the rosin be 
raised considerably above the melting point, on pressure be- 
ing applied, a different result ensues, the mass becoming at 
once solid at the core, the outside alone showing signs of 
liquefaction. When rosin is melted for manufacturing pur- 
poses, and the workmen neglect to stir it for even a few min- 
utes, the whole mass4>ecomes completely solidified, and lique- 
faction takes place only at the exterior. From this and oth- 
er instances stated by Mr. Vincent, he comes to the conclusion 


that the disintegration produced by liquefaction of one por- 
tion of the bodies referred to causes them to exeit a greater 
power of aggregation in the parts less exposed to beat. — 
1 -4, December 30, 313. 

GUN-corroN in bisulphide of carbon. 

According to Dr. Bleekrode, if gun-cotton be first wet with 
bisulphide of carbon (a highly inflammable liquid), and an 
electric spark be passed through it, instead of producing an 
explosion of the cotton, the bisulphide alone i%set fire to, the 
gun-cotton apparently remaining intact among the burning 
bisulphide, presenting almost the aspect of a mass of snow 
slowly melting away. The experiment may be varied by 
using either benzine or alcohol instead of the bisulphide, and 
igniting it afterward with any flame. All these liquids yield 
the same result, and there is no (danger in the experiment, 
even if large quantities are used. This curious phenomenon 
is explained by Dr. Abel, who says that "these results indi- 
cate that if, even for the briefest space of time, the gases re- 
sulting from the first action of heat on gun-cotton upon its 
ignition in open air are impeded from completely enveloping 
the burning extremity of the gun-cotton twist, their ignition 
is prevented ; and as it is the comparatively high tempera- 
ture produced by their combustion which effects the rapid 
and more complete combustion of the gun-cotton, the mo- 
mentaiy extinction of the gases, and the continuous abstrac- 
tion of heat by them as they escape from the point of com- 
bustion, render it impossible for the gun-cotton to continue 
to burii otherwise than in the slow and imperfect manner, un- 
dergoing a transformation similar in character to destructive 

As a practical application of these facts, it is suggested that 
if gun-cotton be kept in a flask in a layer of benzine or bisul- 
phide of carbon, the danger of explosion in case of a fire is 
obviated, since, if the liquid is ignited by any means, the gun- 
cotton will bum slowly and gradually. When required for 
use, a brief exposure to the air restores its explosive quali- 
ties. — London^ JEdinburg^ and Dublin Philosophical Magor 
zine^ January^ 1871, 40. 



Much has been said, of late, of a substance known as 
chrome alum, which has been used in the Albert and Edward 
process of electrotype printing, for the purpose of hardening 
the gelatine film and rendering it insoluble in water. In- 
quiries have been pressed in various quaiiers for the recipe 
for preparing this substance, and we find in the Mechanics^ 
Magazine a reply, in which it is stated that if three ounces 
of bichromate ^f potash be dissolved in as little boiling water 
as possible, and then four ounces of strong sulphuric acid be 
added, and afterward alcohol, drop by drop, be introduced, a 
pure green tint will be developed. The liquid should be 
stirred frequently during this process, and then boiled down 
to a small volume and set aside. After a few days violet 
crystals separate, which, When washed with pure water, are 
said to be sufficiently pure for ordinary purposes. — 18 A, 
May 12, 190. 


A new test-paper of extreme sensitiveness can be prepared, 
it is said, from the leaves of the ornamental plant known as 
the CoUua verschaffeUL The fresh leaves of the plant are to 
be steeped for twenty-four hours in absolute alcohol, to which 
some drops of sulphuric acid have been added, and the liquid 
afterward filtered. Into this are to be dipped strips of Swed-* 
ish filtering-paper, which are then allowed to dry in the air. 
A test-paper of a beautiful red color will thus be obtained, 
which will pass more or less into a fine shade of green by the 
action of alkalies or alkaline earths. This paper will keep 
for a long time if preserved in well-closed jars, and will be 
found much more sensitive than the ordinary tests. It is not 
affected by carbonic acids, but indicates the least trace of the 
carbonates or alkaline earths that may be dissolved in water. 
If a band of this paper, slightly moistened, be exposed to an 
open gas jet, it will change rapidly to green, in consequence 
of the ammonia contained in the gas. — 2 B^ May 14, 58^. 


In a communication by Fltlckiger upon certain reactions of 
water-glass, some important technical applications are sug- 


gested as the result of the chemical relationship dwelt upon. 
Thus many of the practical applications of this substance 
depend especially upon the separation of silicic acid, and are 
more efficient in proportion to the amount and completeness 
of this separation. If, therefore, surfaces which are to be 
silicified are coated alternately with water-glass and a solu- 
tion of conmion salt, they will ultimately be found to possess 
a harder and more uniform exterior. By first saturating 
stone or wood with a solution of sal ammoniac, or common 
salt, and adding the water-glass before the former application 
is completely dry, the result will be found to be very satis- 
factory.— 2 OjHTov., 1870, 105. 


Iodine is said to be now manufactured on a large scale 
from Chile saltpeti'e (nitrate of soda), over thirty thousand 
pounds per annum being obtained. The process consists in 
treating the liquids resulting from the manufacture of salt- 
petre with a mixture of sulphurous acid and sulphite of soda, 
in proper proportion, when the iodine falls to the bottom as 
a black precipitate. This is allowed to drain on layers of 
quartz sand, and is then removed, and finally purified by sub* 
limation.T— Panama Star and Herald^ J(in. 17. 


A patent has lately been taken out in England for restore 
ing spent sulphuric acid,. and the inventor of the process 
claims that by its means he can revivify the acid so. cheaply 
that the same weight can be obtained for one cent that now 
costs seven in new acid. The method consists essentially in 
heating the spent acid in a vessel of peculiar construction 
with dry steam to a temperature of about 120°, after which 
six or seven pounds of black oxide of manganese are to be 
sprinkled into it, and more steam is turned on. The tank is 
.then covered, and care must be taken to prevent its foaming 
over; should any thing of this kind be threatened, the steam 
must be turned off for a short time, and the foam will sub- 
side. The heating is kept up six or eight hours, and tljjBn the 
liquid allowed to cool, after which any oil or tar that has 
come to the surface is to be skimmed off, leaving the restored 
acid behind. — 8 -4, Jan,y 1871,12. 



The oxide of cerium is recommended as a valnable test of 


strychnine, since when concentrated sulphuric acid is poured 
over strychnine, and oxide of cerium added to the mixture, a 
beautiful blue color makes its appearance, a similar result 
also taking place when the bichromate of potash is used in- 
stead of cerium. The combination first mentioned, however, 
with the same intensity of color, is much more durable, so 
that when the chrome reaction has long since disappeared, 
that produced by the cerium is persistent and easily recog- 
nized. The blue tint passes gradually into a* cherry-red, and 
then remains. unaltered for several days. It is stated that 
the one hundred thousandth of a grain of strychnine can be 
readily recognized by this test. Other vegetable alkaloids 
give a totally different reaction with cerium, and can not, 
therefore, be confounded with the strychnine. — 15 (7,xvi.,266. 


The purity of hydrate of chloral may, it is said, be tested 
by means of a concentrated solution of potash. The pure 
hydrate does not color this at all, or at most only a feeble 
yellow, and gives forth the pure smell of chloroform. Should 
the liquid assume a brown color, and the smell of chloro- 
acetic acid be combined with that of chloroform, or should 
gases of a pungent odor be developed, which is not seldom 
the case, the product is impure .and unfit for use. — 15 (7, 


For distinguishing genuine benzole, or that made of coal 
tar, from that prepared from petroleum, Brandberg recom- 
mends us to place a small piece of pitch in a testing tube, 
and pour some of the substance to be examined. The 
genuine will immediately dissolve the pitch to a tar-like 
mass, while that derived from petroleum will scaroely be col- 
ored.^12 (7, v., May^ 1871, 39. 


The presence of butyric acid in glycerine may be detected, 
according toM.Perutz,by mixing the concentrated glycerine 


with strong^ alcohol and sulphuric acid of sixty degrees. If 
the acid in question be present, butyric ether will be imme- 
. diately formed and readily recognized by its smell, which 
strongly resembles that of the pine -apple. — 2 B^ Jan. 22, 


Dr. Schiff is said to have accomplished the first synthesis 
of a vegetable alkaloid, namely, coniin. The process by which 
this is efTected is too techirical for our pages, but the result 
obtained is stated to be entirely similar in its reaction and 
physical peculiarities to the natural alkaloid, and to possess 
like poisonous qualities. — 1 (7, 1871, iv., 64. 


A spectroscope analysis has, it is said, revealed the pres- 
ence of potassium in tobacco-smoke ; and as small quantities 
of potash increase the nervous excitability, while larger quan- 
tities diminish it, it is suggested that the percentage of this 
substance in tobacco-smoke may produce, at least in part, the 
peculiar sensations which are experienced in the cavity of the 
month after long and extreme smoking. — 1 (7, 1871, iv., 64. 


Some recent investigations by Doctors Vohl and Eulen- 
berg upon tobacco -smoke are likely materially to modify 
existing views in regard to the physiological action of the 
weed. Their paper is divided into three parts, the first of 
which treats of the chemical composition of commercial to- 
bacco for smoking, for chewing, and snuff; the second con- 
tains the results of an examination ofthe products generated 
by the combustion of tobacco during smoking; and the third 
describes the physiological effects of the bas€s extracted from 

Commercial tobacco for smoking purposes was invariably 
found to contain nicotine, amounting sometimes to four per 
cent, or more, while in tobacco used for chewing and snuff 
only minute trlEices of that alkaloid could be detected, so that 
nicotine poisoning from cheWing or snuffing would appear to 
be very problematical. The authors state that, a« a fact, no 
such cases are on record. 





Ampng the gaseous products given off during the sinoking 
of igood tobacco and cigars, there were found oxygen, nitro- 
gen, marsh gas, and carbonic oxide, besides the more readily . 
condensible gases and vapors— sulphureted hydrogen and 
hydrocyanic acid, and occasionally sulphocyanic acid, this 
case being produced at a later stage by the actibn of sulphur- 
eted hydrogen on hydrocyanic acid. The acid and non-basic 
products formed are formic, acetic, metacetic, butyric, valeric, 
and carbolic acids, creosote, perhaps cyprylic and sUcScinic 
acids also, the latter from fermentation of the malic acid well 
known to exist in the green tobacco plant. There are also a 
solid hydrocarbon and a liquid hydrocarbon of the benzole 

The most interesting fact in the inquiry was that no nico- 
tine could be detected among the basic products of the dis- 
tillation, proving that the injurious effects of tobaccio-smoking 
are not to be attributed to this substance ; on the contrary, 
it was in the alkaloids of the pyridin or picolin series, well 
known to be produced during the destructive distillation of 
wood and other vegetable products, that the poisonous influ- 
ences were found. These were tested upon pigeons and 
Guinea-pigs, and were found to produce tetanic spasms, irreg- 
ular action of the heart, and death. The same bases, obtained 
from other sources than tobacco, produced similar effects. As 
the same pyridin bases are among the products of the distil- 
lation of opium, the authors are inclined to attribute the ef- 
fects produced by smoking this drug, not to morphia, but to 
the picolin series of alkaloids. — 20 A^ September 2, 285, 


According to Dr. Phipson, the English walnut (Jufflans 
regid)y and probably the American species also, contain, 
among other substances, one which he calls regianine (ob- 
tained by treating the green husk of the fruit with benzole), 
which appears in the form of a yellowish substance crystal- 
lizing in groups of feather-like crystals. These are easily 
decomposed, and, when treated with alkalies or ammonia, 
yield a splendid iand durable red solution, which, by a subse- 
quent treatment, becomes the jet-black, amorphous, pure re- 
gianic acid. — 2 Ay September 8^ 119. 





A new alkaloid ha^yit is said^been detected, in the .mother 
liquor obtained in the manufacture of sulphate of quinine, 
distinguishable from the cinchona alkaloids by the solubility 
of its salts, which renders it rery difficult of separation from 
the uiicrystallizable quinoidin. It has not yet been deter- 
mined whether it is contained in all the species of cinchona, 
or, if not*, in which of them ;• nor have its physiological prop- 
erties been experimented upon. — 16 -4, Jidy^ 1871, 406. 


It is said that the peculiar odor of commercial tannin may 
be entirely removed, and thus better .fitted for officinal ad- 
ministration, by first dissolving six parts in twelve parts of 
warm water, placed in a porcelain vessel, then pouring the 
solution into a flask after adding from one half to one part 
of ether, and shaking it up thoroughly. The mixture at first 
spears. of a dirty green and very turbid, but settles in a few 
hours, the coloring matter sinking to the bottom in the form 
of a flocculent coagulum. The liquor is then to be .filtered, 
and the filtrate evs^orated. Tannin thus prepared has no 
odor, and' gives a perfectly clear solution with Water. — Ding. 
JPo/y. cTbtim., CXCVn., L, 98. 


It is generally understood that the cause of smoke, in the 
case of burning wood and other forms of carbon, Js due essen- 
tially to an insufficient supply of air, which prevents the 
combustion from being complete. This may seem strange 
when we are assured that the gases produced by combustion, 
of coal edpedally, contain an excess of air. This apparent 
inconsistettcy, however, is explained when we are informed 
that by a deficiency of air is simply meant that this is the 
case in each volume or stratum of air in which combustion 
has taken place; but the gases which pass into the chimney 
may be regarded as a collection of such volumes or strata 
mixed with others rich in oxygen, and these, in most instan- 
ces, being too little heated to admit, of their entering into 

From these theoretical considerations, it follows that^ for 


the purpose of avoiding or diminishing smoke, it will be suf- 
ficient to cause an intimate admixture of the gases the mo- 
ment they quit the fire, even without introducing a fresh 
volume of air. This principle has been applied in several 
forms. In one, two fireplaces are built side by side, running 
parallel, and separated by a wall. The fires in these two 
fireplaces are fed alternately, and, the currents of gas being 
directed one against the other at the back of the furnaces, 
the strata are thus broken up and mixed, so as greatly to di- 
minish the amount of smoke. Another application for the 
same purpose consists in introducing a little air, in a finely 
divided state, behind the bridge of the furnace. This air 
supplies the requisite oxygen at the moment when the com- 
bustible gases are still sufficiently heated for them to become 
ignited ; and the admixture is readily effected, but with some 
loss of combustible matter. Still a third process, that of 
Thierry, consists in introducing a jet of steam over the sur- 
face of the fire. The steam' does not exeit any chemical ac- 
tion, but operates mechanically by mixing gases, and thus 
diminishing the amount of smoke; By means of these, and 
other applications that will readily suggest themselves, much 
may be done not only in preventing the escape of smoke from 
furnaces, locomotives, and hearths, but also in economizing 
the fuel by securing an appreciably greater intensity and 
amount of heat. — 14 A^ 1870, Julj/ 9, 22. 


In a paper on the ^'Estimation of Antimony," published in 
the Chemical Nei08^1IugO' calls the attention of chem- 
ists to a new phenomenon, which the author describes under 
the name of " hygraffinity." This phenomenon was discov- 
ered in a peculiar compound of antimony — ^bigallate of anti- 
mony — which is totally insoluble in water, and yet possess- 
es a powerful affinity for moisture, which it absorbs rapidly 
from the air, after being dried at th^ temperature of 212° F. 
Most powders and precipitates, dried at that temperature, as 
is well known, absorb moisture on exposure to the atmos- 
phere, but this is a purely physical phenomenon, due to po- 
rosity. On the contrary, in the case of gallate of antimony, 
chemical affinity is at work, and this precipitate, after expo-* 
sure to the air for two or three hours, actually absorbs two 


equivalents of water. In a word, this insoluble substance 
has as much affinity for moisture* as deliquescent salts. But 
one of the most curious features in connection with this extra- 
ordinary phenomenon is that, on being dried at 212° F., bigal- 
late of antimony loses the two equivalents of water which it 
had absorbed from the air, and that, on being left exposed 
once more to the atmosphere, it reabsorbs the same amount 
of moisture. This interesting experiment may be repeated 
indefinitely. — 15 A^November 11, 1871, 628. 


A basic substance has lately been separated by Graebe and 
Caro from crude anthracene, to which, on account of its irri- 
tating action upon the skin and mucous membranes, they 
haVe given the name of acridine. This body is obtained by 
heating the semi-solid portion of coal naphtha, which boils 
between 300° and 360°, with dilute sulphuric acid, and pre- 
cipitating the acid solution with potassium dichromate. A 
dirty brown precipitate is obtained, which dissolves on re- 
peated treatment with boiling water. The solution thus ob- 
tained yields, after filtration and cooling, orangcryellow crys- 
tals of the chromate of the base ; these crystals, freed from 
the mother-liquor by washing, yield the free base when wann- 
ed with ammonia. Thus obtained, the body is not quite pure ; 
but it may be rendered so by recrystallizing its hydrochlo- 
ride. Acridine substance crystallizes, as determined by Dr. 
P. Groth, in small, four-sided, rectangular prisms of the rhom- 
bic system, whose edges are often, but narrowly, truncated 
by the vertical prism, while the ends are formed by obtuse 

Acridine melts at 107°, and distills without alteration at a 
temperature above 360°. It sublimes, even below its melt- 
ing-point, in large, broad needles. It is almost insoluble in 
cold, and but little soluble in boiling water. On the other 
hand, it dissolves readily in alcohol, ether, carbon-bisulphide, 
and hydro-carbons. The dilute solutions show a beautiful 
blue color by reflected light. It exerts a slight but distinct 
alkaline reaction on litmus. Wh'fen inhaled, either in dust or 
vapor, it causes sneezing, and, in large quantity, coughing. 
It is exceedingly stable, and may be distilled unaltered over 
either ignited zinc or soda-lime, although most readily at- 


tacked by sodiam amalgam. Two series of salts of acridine 
have already been prepared by the authors, and numerous 
compounds with other substances examined by them. — 21 A^ 
^tt^ti«^, 1871,708. 


According to recent investigations, when petroleum oils 
are exposed under certain conditions to the sunlight, tkey 
absorb from the air oxygen, which is converted into ozone. 
No chemical combination takes place between the oil and the 
ozone, but the latter remains free, and oxydizes any substance 
with which it comes in contact. In oils containing ozone the 
smell is materially modified ; they burn with difficulty, and 
attack rapidly the stoppers of the vessels containing them, 
especially if the stoppers be composed of cork. . When glass 
vessels are used it has been found that the color of the glass 
exercises a great influence over the absorption of oxygen. 
iPecolorized oils exposed in white glass vessels to the action 
of sunlight turn yellow, become charged strongly with ozone, 
and burn with difficulty. This is principally the case with 
the American petroleums. They should, therefore, be kept 
in metallic vessels, or, if glass b^ used, it should be shaded as 
much as possible from the sun. — 13 G^ August 11,1870,1151. 


Attention has lately been directed to the change which 
alloys of silver experience by long burial in the earth, and 
several articles have appeared in scientific journals on the 
subject ; one based upon the examination of ancient Roman 
vases found buried in the Black Forest of Germany ; and 
another, by Professor Church, in reference to the specimens 
lately exhumed in the island of Cyprus by Mr. Di Cessnola, 
the resident American consul. These latter were found upon 
the site of the ancient city of Idalium, and lay claim to an 
antiquity of at least 1600 years, during which time they have 
become covered externally, to the depth of about one thirti- 
eth of an inch, with a crust, which proved, upon analysis, to 
be composed principally offinely divided silver, mixed with 
the chloride and sulphide of that metal, and a little basic car- 
bonate of copper. Beneath this layer the substance of the 
metal appears white, metallic, and uniform, but very brittle, 


the objects being readily snapped by a very slight pressure. 
It was found, however, that by gentle hammiering, or rolling, 
the brittle mass could be easily restored to its original mal- 
leable condition, while its density gradually rose from 9.06 
to 10,2. From this it would appear that the change is mo- 
lecular, and not; chemical, the extreme portions alone being 
modified.— 21 A^Jviby^ 1871,498. 


M. A. Girard, in a late communication to the Academy of 
Sciences of Paris, presents a notice of a new volatile and sac- 
charine principle discovered some time ago by him in the 
caoutchouc of Borneo, and which is remarkable for its do 
composition in the presence of hydriodic acid. This, when 
heated in a closed vessel to a certain temperature with an ex- 
.cess of the acid, separated into a methyl-hydriodic ether, and 
a new substance, likewise saccharine, crystalline, and of great 
stability, having the composition of dried glucose, and hav- 
ing much analogy with inosite. This substance he names 
dambose. — 3 ByXvu,,Augti3t 24,1871, 337. 
«i ■ • 


According to Koller, among the characteristics of pure 
glycerine, as compared with an impure article, are the fol- 
lowing t Pure, glycerine has a neutral reaction, and on evap- 
oration in a porcelain dish leaves only a very slight carbonar 
ceous crust, while the impure has a much greater percentage 
of coaly matter. The pure article does not become brown 
when treated, drop by drop, with concentrated sulphuric 4icid, 
even after several hours ; the impure becomes brown even 
when but slightly adulterated. Pure glycerine, treated with 
pure nitric acid and a solution of nitrate of silver, does not 
become cloudy, while the impure exhibits a decidedly milky 
appearance. Sometimes the impure article becomes black- 
ened with the sulphide of ammonium. Oxalate of ammonia 
^ produces a black clouding ; lime-water sometimes 'causes a 
milky discoloration. Pure glycerine, however, constantly re- 
mains perfectly uncolored, and clear as water, theampure be- 
coming colored to a. greater or less extent. If a few drops 
are rubbed between the fingers, pure glycerine causes no fat- 
ty smell ; the contrary is the case with the impure, especially 


if a few drops of dilute sulpharic acid be introduced. — 18.^, 
Oc^ofter 4,1871,631. 


One of the latest enterprises in organic chemistry consists 
in the preparation of artificial milk, which has been attempt- 
ed by Dubninfant, and which he claims to have accomplished 
by emulsifpng fatty matters with an artificial serum. This 
is done as follows : 40 or 50 grams of saccharine matter (lac- 
tin, cane-sugar, or glucose), 20 or 30 grains of dried albumen 
(the dried white of egg, as met with in Paris), and 1 or 2 
grams of crystals of soda carbonate, are dissolved in a half 
litre of water, and the whole is emulsified with 50 or 60 
grams of olive-oil, or other comestible fatty matter. The 
emulsification takes place best at a moderate temperature, 
that of 50^ or 60° being sufficient. The liquid thus prepared . 
has the appearance of cream, and requires to be mixed with 
twice its volume of water to acquire the consistence and as- 
pect of milk. To prepare a fiuid approaching cream in its . 
qualities, gelatin is substituted for albumen; 100 grams of 
fat are emulsified in a litre of serum, containing 2 or 3 grams 
of gelatin. Artificial cream prepared in this way shows no 
tendency to separate into fat or serum. 

Gaudin, in discussing the preceding suggestion, gives his 
testimony as to the depriving fats of all unpleasant odor by 
mere subjection to an appropnate temperature. He also 
states that very good artificial milk can be prepared from 
bones rich in fat, by purifying this fat by means of superheat- 
ed steam, and combining the fat thus obtained with gelatin. 
This milk is, he says, almost like that of the cow ; and, when 
kept, acquires first the odor of sour milk, then that of cheese. 
The gelatin in it represents the caseine; the fat, the butter; 
the sugar, the sugar of milk. It serves for the preparation 
of coffee and chocolate, of soups and creams of excellent fla- 
vor, and its cost is but trifling. 




It has been suggested that wherever iron is mentioned as 
occurring in the earlier Scriptures, as well as in the ancient 
Greek authors, such as Homer and Hesiod, in all cases it is 
to be considered as referring to meteoric iron, the period 
when mankind was able to reduce the metal from its ores not 
yet having arrived. This view is supported by Professor 
Haidinger, of Vienna, in a very elaborate and learned disqui- 
sition ; and he also suggests that the iron found, on the sur- 
fece of the earth in Southern Africa for a time, and used by 
the natives, as well as that employed by the Esquimaux in 
making implements before their association with the whites, 
is due to the same origin. — Mitth. Anthrop. Soc. Uren, 63. 


Accounts from Guayaquil report the discovery of iron in 
great abundance on the banks of the River Doull, occurring 
in the form of masses weighing hundreds of pounds of an hy- 
drated peroxide of ii'on in crystals of micaceous iron, and a 
red hematite. As the surrounding forests will produce wood 
enough for making the necessary charcoal, it is proposed to 
start an iron furnace on the spot. — I^an, S, and H,^ Jan. 17. 


Much inquiry has been prosecuted as to the matrix of the 
diamond, and various suggestions have been pronounced in 
regard to it^ itacolumite, or the so-called flexible sandstone 
occurnng in Brazil, the United States, and elsewhere being 
assigned this honor by many authors. From a communica- 
tion by Professor Leonhard we are informed that the xantho- 
phyllite of the Ural Mountains shares with the»itacolumite 
in this respect, since in certain localities where this substance 
abounds a microscopic examination of its laminse reveals to a 
magnifying power of thirty times the existence of large num- 
bers of minute crystals of the diamond, while with a power 
of two hundred their crystalline form and relative position 




can be distinctly traced. Most of these crystals are colorless 
and completely transparent ; a few of them are brown. The 
mineral xanthophyllite above refeiTed to is a micaceous sub- 
stance occurring with magnetic iron in talcose slates. — 3 (7, 
June 26, 621. 


Professor Morris, in a communication to the Geological So- 
ciety of London upon the geology of South Africa, referred 
to the fact that the diamonds of South Africa came from cer- 
tain stratified beds containing, besides reptilian remains (such 
as the Dicynodon)^ numerous plants and much fossil wood. 
He then suggested a query as to whether the diamonds them- 
selves may not be of vegetable origin, and similar in charac- 
ter to the small crystal quartz found in the stems of bamboo. 
— 13 A^Becembery 1870, 70. 


The first annual report of the State Geologist of Missouri, 
under the new organization, has just been made to the Legis- 
lature by Professor A. D. Hagar, chief of the survey. This 
gentleman is well kaown to the scientific men of the country 
in conilection with his work upon the survey of Vermont, of 
which a very valuable report was issued- by him. 

In his preliminary examination of the mineral resources of 
Missouri he was gratified to find the amount of lead greater 
than was supposed. In reference to the much vexed question 
whether Missouri contains tin, he remarks that although an 
assay of the ore furnished a button of tin at the bottom, yet 
he is not entirely satisfied that this was not the result of some 
attempt to deceive him, as he could find no evidence in the^ 
rock itself of its being tin-bearing. He evidently considers 
the case as not proved, and awaits the insult of fkirther care- 
ful experiments on the subject. — Paper. 


Mr. Von Hochstetter has made some interesting experi- 
ments illustrating the phenomena of volcanoes. For this 
purpose he melted sulphur in water under a steam pressure 
of two to three atmospheres, during which a certain amount 
of water was taken up by the sulphur. A large quantity of 




this melted salphor was then poured into a deep wooden ves- 
sel, and, in cooling, a erust was formed upon the surface. A 
hole was made in this crust and kept open, and through this, 
as the congelation of the sulphur proceeded, eruptions of 
melted sulphur, with exhalations and explosions of steam, 
took place at regular intervals ; and after a short time a min- 
iature volcanic cone was formed, with all the characteristics 
of a volcano made by successive lava streama — 12-4,1870, 
Dec. 29^ 119.. 


The microscope has rendered its aid to an immense num- 
ber of branches of physical investigation in turn, and quite 
lately its value to the geologist has been shown by the re- 
searches of Mr. David Forbes and others. Mr.. Allport, in a 
recent communication, gives, as the result of many hundreds 
of sections of rocks and minerals, the assurance, fii*st, that the 
mineral constituents of the melaphyres and other fine-grained 
igneous rocks may be determined thereby with certainty — a, 
result which has not been attained by any other method of 
examination. Second, that the mineral constituents of the 
true volcanic rocks and of the old melaphyres are generally 
the same. Third, that the old rocks have almost invariably 
undergone a considerable amount of alteration, and that this 
change alone constitutes the difference now existing between 
them and the ^•ecent volcanic basalts. — 5 A, Oct,^ 1870, 430. 


Professor Andrews, of Chicago, in a memoir published by 
him upon ^' The North American Lakes (Michigan and Huron 
especially), considered as chronometers of post-glacial time," 
comes to the following conclusion in regard to their history 
and chronology, assuming that their formation took place 
during or at the close of the drifl period: "1. The upper 
beach of the lakes began to form immediately after the bould- 
er-drift period, and continued to accrete for about nine hun- 
dred years. No animal fossils have yet been found in it. 2. 
The waters then fell suddenly to about their present level, 
where they remained till a thin bed of peat accreted on the 
marshy slope vacated by the waves. Data are not at pres- 
ent available for .a calculation of this low-water period, but 



from the position of the soil-bed in the eastern dunes it prob- 
ably lasted five hundred years. 3. The water rose again, sub- 
merging for a short time the upper beach, but- soon fell to 
the line of the middle one, where it remained about one thou- 
sand six hundred or two thousand years. This period ap- 
pears to be contemporary with the loess. .4. The water, which 
had already slowly fallen some feet, now retired more- rapidly 
to near its present level, which it has maintained with only 
moderate fluctuations ever since. 6. The total. time of all 
these deposits appears to be somewhere between five thou- 
sand three hundred and seven thousand five hundred years." 
-^IVans. Chicago Acad. Sci.^ 1870, 23. 


According jto ProfesiSor Shaler, due consideration has not 
been giv^n by American geologists to the influence which ice 
has exerted in shaping the outline of our coast, since he is 
convinced that, among other illustrations of this fact, the 
eastern portion of Cape Cod has been produced by glacial 
action. Though of recent formation, this feature of the coast 
is important, in a zoological point of view, as furnishing a 
well-marked boundary-line for the fishes, invertebrates, and 
marine plants of the coast. Long Island is likewise,' accord- 
ing to Professor Shaler, made up of masses of material laid 
down in a confused manner under water. These masses came 
from the north, and are the product of the icQrsheets which 
poured out from the rivers running southerly and emptying 
into the Sound. Chesapeake and Delaware Bays also exhibit 
the action of ice, the material excavated from them having 
been borne southward so as to form Cape Hatteras, and the 
bars in the waters of Albemarle Sound. The Professor con- 
cludes by expressing the opinion that no evidences of glacial 
action south of Hatteras have been discovered. — 3 2>. 


Mr. Robert Brown, in a paper upon the "Physics of Arctic 
Ice," especially as relating to Scotland, sums up as follows: 
First, after the tertiary period the country was covered over 
with a great depth of snow and ice, very much as in Green- 
land at the present day, but possibly some of the mountain- 
taps appeared as islands. During this, and the subsequent 


period glaciers plowed their way down from the inland ice, 
and icebergs broke off and reached the sea through the glens, 
then ice fiords. Second, after this the country sank gradual- 
ly, as Greenland is now sinking, to the depth of several hun- 
dred feet, and during this period most of the laminated fos- 
siliferous clays were formed. During this period boulders 
were deposited from the icebergs, and other floating ice drift- 
ed both from the north and south, as was also the case dur^ 
ing the former period. Third, the country seems then to 
have emerged from the water, but no doubt slowly, until the 
glaciers finally left the country. Fourth, by this time the 
country was much higher than now, and the land being con- 
nected with the continent, the bulk of the present flora and 
fauna crept into it from various quarters, though the Alpine 
plants still kept possession of the higher mountain regions 
during a great portion of this epoch. Fifth, a depression 
now took place, and the estuarine beds, or carses^ of the Scotch 
rivers were formed. Much. of the fossiliferous boulder clay, 
formed as. He has described it, is now under the sea, off the 
coast remains of its fauna being continually dredged up. 
Man had also by this time got into the country. Sixth, the 
land after this seems to hav^ risen, in all probability, to its 
present altitude, for we have no. certain evidence that since 
the dawn of history there were any oscillations of level. — 
hA^July^ 335, . 



A French savant, M. De Latterade, has communicated to 
the Academie des Sciences the remarkable theory that daring 
the period which preceded the glacial epoch; when the tem- 
perature of the northern bemisphere was far higher than it 
is at present, as evidenced by the fossil remains of the Euro- 
pean and American tertiary formations, this accession of tem- 
perature was caused by the proximity to the earth of a very 
powerful star or second sun, which gave to the earth an im- 
mense quantity of heat, and which has since receded into the 
abysses of celestial space. M. Latterade contends that this 
supplementary sun did not disturb the elements of the plan- 
ets, because its attractive power was less than its heating 
power. He states, n^oreover, that the heating power does 


not vary witli the mass, like the attractive power. — (Comma- 


Professor Agassiz, in an interesting commanication, at a 
meeting of the American Association for the Advancement 
of Science, upon the former existence of local glaciers in the 
White Mountains, states that, whatever may have been the 
number of the higher peaks of the White Mountains that at 
any given time during the glacial period rose above the great 
ice-sheet which then covered the country, this mountain 
range offered no obstacle to the southward movement and 
progresa of the northern ice-fields, the drift, so called, having 
the same general characteristics on the northern and south- 
ern sides of the White Mountains. In addition to this great 
sea of ice, however, he finds material evidence to prove the 
existence of many local glaciers at different points, and he 
infers that they are of more recent date. He expects here- 
after to show that the action of local glaciers of the White 
Mountains began to be circumscribed within the areas they 
covered- after the typical drift had, in consequence of the 
melting of the northern ice-sheet, been laid bare in th^ Mid- 
dle States, in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and even after 
the southern portion of .Vermont and New Hampshire had 
been uncovered, and when the White Mountains, the Adiron- 
dacks, and Katahdin were the only ice-clad peaks in that part 
of the country. — 5 Z>, 1 870, 650. 



Professor Meek, in describing some species of certain fossils 
collected by Mr. Clarence King, remarks that the trilobites 
from Eastern Nevada are decidedly primordial types, and, as 
far as known to him, the first fossils of that age yet brought 
in from any locality west of the Black Hills. The collection 
also establishes the fact that the rich silver mines of the 
White Pine district occur in Devonian rocks. He also states 
with regard to the fresh-water tertiary shells collected by 
Mr. King and othera from the interior of the continent, that 
neither the beaks of the bivalves nor the tips of the spire in 
the unlvalvea are ever in the slightest degree eroded, the 
most delicate marking of these parts being perfectly pre- 


served, unless broken by some accident. From this fact Pro- 
fessor Meek infers that the waters of the lakes and streams 
wei«9 during the tertiary epoch, more or less alkaline,, as is 
the case with a large number of those found there at the 
present day. — 4 2>, vol. L., 423. 


As a counterpoise to the suggestion of some geologists 
that petroleum and asphaltum are of vegetable origin, it is 
now maintained that these substances are derived from ani- 
mal remains. This latter view is thought to be substantia* 
ted by the fact of the absence of iodine, which would have 
been present if derived from sea-weeds ; and also, on the oth- 
er hand, by the presence of ammonia, which does not belong 
to the vegetable kingdom. Furthermore, asphaltum and bi- 
tumen frequently occur in strata which are rich in animal re- 
mains, from which they may have been derived by the action 
of intense heat with great pressure. — 1 CJ 1871, in., 48. 


A French geologist, in a memoir upon the origin of coal, 
takes the ground that it is derived entirely from marine 
plants, such as fucus, or sea-weed, which are destitute of 
woody fibre; and that its first place of deposit must necessa- 
rily have been at the depth of the sea, and in a place difier- 
ent from that in which these plants had their growth. The 
arguments adduced by him are varied and ingenious, and 
will doubtless be responded to in due course of time by those 
who maintain that the same substance was derived from the 
gradual accumulation of terrestrial plants of somewhat va- 
ried forms. — 7 B^ June 4, 212. 


Professor Kerr, in a communication before the American As- 
sociation upon the origin of the South Carolina phosphates, 
is inclined to refer them to accumulations of a species of 
Linguk^ a moUusk (or a worm, according to Mr. Moi*se), 
which has recently been discovered in abundance along the 
sounda of North and South Carolina. The shell of this ani- 
mal, he states, consists of phosphate instead of carbonate of 
lime, and its habitat is at the precise level of the Ashley 


River phosphates. As the shells are very fragile and easily 

comminuted, he thinks that this solid material, accumulating, 
has bpen agglomerated by some force into the nodules which 
are so peculiar to the formation in question. — 5 J9, 1870,671. 


In a paper upon " The Encroachments of the Sea" on the 
east coast of Yorkshire, by Rev. T. O. Morris, read before the 
last meeting of the British Association, it was statiBd that on 
the average there had been a loss of land of from two to 
three yards every year — probably about two and a half to 
two and three quarter yards per annum. If looked at in 
round numbers, the w^aste of land, at three yards in each 
year, would -amount to nearly thirty-nine acres between Spiirn 
Point and Flamborough Head alone; or in a hundred years 
to 3900 acres, which, at the value of £30 or £50 per acre, 
would represent a serious money loss of grain or other crops; 
or, taking the waste, as had been calculated, at one mile since 
the date of the Conquest (1066), the money value in that in- 
terval, at £30 per acre, would be equal to £691,200; or, at 
£50 per acre, no less than £1,152,000. In conclusion, Mr. 
Morris recommended that a sea-wall of roughly hewn, or 
even unhewn, stone be laid at an angle of thirty-five degrees, 
which he thought would be a permanent protection from en- 
croachments. — 1 8 A^ August 26, 562. 


The Abbe Richard, it is said, claims to be so successful in 
indicating places where water can be found that he is called 
" the prophet of water." During the meeting just held of the 
British Association, the abb6 presented himself before that 
body, and gave a long list of places where, under his direc- 
tion, water had been obtained', and stated that the knowledge 
he possessed of this law, by which he was enabled to make 
these discoveries, was his own property. He would not re- 
veal this before he had seen as many countries and soils as 
possible, ia order to support his theory on the gi*eatest possi- 
ble number of facts. He asserted that it is possible, by the 
inspection of the soil, to recognize the existence of hidden 
springs ; and not only water springs, but that every thing 
liquid comes under the same law, and that, consequently. 


springs of naphtha and petroleum oil can be discovered by 
the knowledge of this hydro-geological law, as he terms it ; 
and, in fact, he claimed the discovery of several such springs 
in the Carpathian Mountains. — 18 -4, Augtist 25, 662. 


' Professor Brandt, in a memoir upon the remains of mam- 
mals discovered in the quaternary formation of the caves in 
the Altai Mountains, remarks that a great majority of the 
species belong to forms still living in the same mountains; 
or, as in the case of the boar and the beaver, exterminated 
there within a recent period, the total number hitherto deter- 
mined amounting to about one third of the species of the pres- 
ent fauna. A few of the remains, however, such as those of the 
cave hyena, Irish elk, the primitive ox, the fossil rhinoceros, 
and the mammoth belong to animals of the existence of which 
in later times there is no historical evidence, not much reli- 
ance being placed upon an alleged tradition of the Tartars 
of Southern Siberia in regard to the occurrence of giant ani- 
mals, with which their ancestors were in the habit of contend- 
ing. Another animal found in these caves is the horse, of 
which no wild specimens occur at the present time in Siberia. 
The bones of this animal seem in rather better preservation, 
and, consequently, of newer introduction than those of the 
extinct species just mentioned. A similar condition of pres- 
ervation attaches to bones of the bison, while those of the 
primitive ox have lost their organic matter almost in the 
sanxe proportion as the mammoth and other species. From 
this Professor Brandt concludes that the primitive ox was 
exterpiinated in Asia as well as in Europe earlier than was 
the case with the bison and the wild horse ; this being due, 
perhaps, in the case of the ox, to the more palatable nature 
of its flesh when compared with that of the bison. Finally, 
our author remarks that, even if the coexistence of man in 
Siberia and the colossal and extinct animals can not be estab- 
lished on palaeontological and archaeological data, although 
indicated perhaps in seme obscure sagas, yet we may assume 
it with. tolerable certainty, as we know that he lived in Eu- 
rope unquestionably at the same time with the mammoth, 
rhinoceros, Irish elk, bison, and the auerochs, and possibly 
even emigrated from Asia at the same time with them. — 
JBrandty M&langea hiologiquea^ VII., 434. 



In the seventh repoi*t on the Kent's Gavem Explorations, 
made by Mr. Pengelly to the British Association, it is stated 
that the usual section of the floor in a descending oi*der con- 
sisted of, 1. Black mould, containing many objects of recent 
date, and some of Romano-British times ; also remains of an- 
imals still living,' or which lived in historic times. 2. Granu- 
lar stalagmite, containing remains of extinct animals, and 
also a human jaw. 3. Cave earth, yielding a harvest of ex- 
tinct remains ; also flint implements. 4. Crystalline stalag- 
mitic floor, and Breccia formed of rocks from distant hills ; 
bears only have been obtained from these. 

Mr. Pengelly describes the work done during the past 
twelve months, showing what new passages had been opened, 
and the number of species which had been obtained. They 
included hyena, horse, rhinoceros, Irish elk, ox, deer, badger, 
elephant, bear, fox, lion, reindeer, rabbit, bat, wolf, dog, etc. 
Many of the bones were gnawed by hyena; others were 
marked by rootlets encircling them. Altogether about 2200 
teeth and bones, and 366 flint implements and flakes, had 
been obtained since the last year's report was read. — 12 A^ 
August 24, 332. 



Mr. Boyd Dawkins, in his paper on " The Classification of 
the PalsBolithic Age by means of the Mammalia," stated that 
the method of classification of this age by reference to the 
mammals associated with man was not of any value. M. 
Lartet divided the paleeolithic age into four stages — ^that of 
the great bear, that of the mammoth and woolly rhinoceros, 
that of the reindeer, and that of the aurochs. The essential 
basis of this classification lay in the d priori consideration 
that the animals of the paleeolithic age came into Europe one 
by one. It was, however, found by observation that they 
were fairly distributed in the caves and river deposits of Eu- 
rope, and very generally together — as, for instance, in Kent's 
Hole. The same negative conclusion applied to the caves of 
France and Belgium, and in the latter country, iddeed, the 
reindeer was probably living in the neolithic, bronze, and 


iron ages, siii<^ it lived in the Hyroanian Forest in the days 
of Julias C«sar. For the truth of M. Lartet's classification, 
it was considered essential to show that these animals in- 
vaded Enrope in ■ a definite succession ; and as evidence of 
this is wanting in the present state of our knowledge, it fol* 
lows that the chronological value of M. Lartet's classification 
must be regarded as inadmissible. — 18 A^ August 25, 562. 



In a review by Mr. Boyd Dawkins of Professor Leidy's re- 
cent great work on the fossil mammals of North America, 
while discussing the distribution of animal life in America 
during the pliocene period, he shows that it furnishes impor- 
tant information in regard to the physical geography of the 
continent at that period. Thus the absence of edentata, as 
well as of the opossum, and of the Sonth American forms of 
rodents, implies that North America was separated from 
Sonth America by an impassable barrier — this, of course, 
being water. At that time the Isthmus of Panama probably 
did not exist, so as to form a bridge connecting the two 
lands, over which animals could cross. On the other hand, 
however, the genera belonging to the basin of the Upper Mis- 
souri indicate an unmistakable inroad of animal forms from 
some other region. Thus the deer, the mastodon, the ele- 
phant, the hipparion, and the horse, together with the wolf, 
could only have been driven from Europe and Asia, with 
which there was evidently a connection during both the pli- 
ocene and miocene epochs. During the quaternary period 
this separation from South America no longer existed, and 
the South American forms seem to extend northward to a 
considerable distance in North America, thus showing the 
period of the elevation of the Isthmus of Panama to have 
been a portion of the post-pliocene or quaternary period. 
With all this, however, no barrier seems to have existed be- 
tween North America and what we now call the Old World, 
since many forms continued to be common to both, such as 
the bisons, horses, moose, mammoth, musk-ox, etc. ; and we 
are therefore entitled to assume that North America was 
separated froni Asia at Behring's Straits during a compara- 
tively recent period. From the evidence adduced in Dr. 



Leidy's work we see an additional illastration of the fact 
that certain forms which belong to a given formation in Ea- 
rope continued during a succeeding formation in America 
after having become extinct in Europe. Thus, while various 
European miocene genera occur in the American pliocene, so 
the mastodon and hipparion, which died out in the European 
pliocene, existed in America during the post-pliocene. And 
again, the musk-ox of the post-pliocene of Europe, now ex- 
tinct there, still exists, living in abundance, in arctic America. 
Illustrations of this law are familiar to palaeontologists both 
in the animal and vegetable world, in some instances being 
based upon specific identities, and in othere upon generic re^ 
lationships.— 12 A^Jxily 21, 232. 


The Mechanic^ Magazine for September 30 contains an 
account of an improved apparatus for the preparation of sec- 
tions of rock for microscopic examination. This branch of 
investigation, within a few years past, has become of much 
importance,' and in the hands of Mr. Forbes and others is fur- 
nishing valuable results in determining the true character of 
rocks, and frequently much more satisfactorily than would be 
possible by the best chemical analysis. — 3 A^ September 30, 


It is reported that, in boring for salt at Sperenberg, near 
Berlin, Prussia, they have penetrated to the enormous depth 
of 5500 feet — the greatest depth ever reached either by min- 
ing or boring— 3200 feet of this being in a bed of solid salt, 
which has not yet been pierced through. It is thought prob- 
able that this stratum of salt, originally horizontal, has been 
uplifted by some catastrophe and brought into a more or less 
inclined or even a vertical position. Further researches will 
prove or disprove the truth of this explanation. — 1 (7,1871, 
XIII., 208. 


Allusions have lately been made in the public papers to 
the discovery of a silver mine on an isolated rock in Lake 
Superior, which is being worked under, the protection of a 



coffer-dam. According to Mr. Dubois, of the United States 
Mint, this ore becomes richer with the increasing depth, and 
is now yielding at the rate of $1^,000 a ton. — Pr. Am, PhiL 
Soc.^ December, 1870. 


An extensive bed of bituminous slate has been discovered 
eighty miles from Sydney, Australia, near to the western 
slope of the Blue Mountains, and a large establishment has 
been elected for the purpose of obtaining oil. The seam is 
horizontal, and from five and a half to six feet thick, in strati- 
fied sandstone. About one hundred tons of the slate are 
worked up weekly. The crude oil first obtained is subse- 
quently converted into burning-fluid, lubricating oil, etc. In 
that portion of India, also, adjoining the mountains of Peraia, 
principally occupied by the cretaceous and tertiary strata, 
sufficient traces of petroleum have been.found to make it im- 
portant to make further investigations. Petroleum has like- 
wise already been obtained in the vicinity of Gunda. 


The attempt to discover tin in workable quantities in the 
United States has been rather a failure, since, notwithstand- 
ing the many enthusiastic announcements of the finding of 
mines of this valuable metal in Missouri, Utah, and elsewhere, 
it would appear that the metal itself is not forthcoming. The 
laiest account from the Utah mines is that the substance in 
question is cadmium, which, although valuable, is perhaps 
less iso than tin, in view of the threatened eichaustion of the 
best-known mines. It is now reported that some rich depos- 
its have been found in the Department of Lozere, in France. 
—15 Ay November 11,1871,629. 


Mineralogists are well aware that in 1868 a large number 
of crystals of smoky quartz were found in Switzerland, which 
furnished specimens of great beauty and size to many cabi- 
nets throughout the world. In the course of ah investiga- 
tion into the physical characters of som6 of these crystals, it 
was found, much to the surprise of the experimenter, that on 
heating they lost their smoky appearance, and became as 


limpid aiid colorless as the most beautiful rock crystal ; and 
this suggested the inquiry whether the color was due to the 
inclusion of orgwiic substances which were destroyed by 
heating, or to some change of the molecular constitution of 
the crystal caused by the heat. To determine this question, 
Professor Forster subjected a series of these crystals to a 
careful examination, and, as the result, came finally to the 
conclusion that the black color was not the result of any pe- 
culiar molecular condition, but that it was produced by the 
presence in the crystal of bodies containing organic carbon 
and hydrogen. — 15 (7, xvni., 283. 


According to Captain Koldeway, of the Qermania steam- 
er, the glaciers of Spitzbergen differ especially from those of 
Switzerland in stretching down into the sea, where they end 
in a perpendicular wall, and in having the upper surface 
somewhat polished, and free from all roughness and ice- 
blocks.^ In the glaciers examined at Augusta Bay and Wil- 
liam Island there were no crevasses. Moraines, fcowever, oc- 
curred, those of the great glacier of the former locality con- 
sisting of limestone and basalt. — 12 -4, April 6, 1871, 454. 


In discussing the glacial period in Kew England, some 
years ago, Professor Dana announced his belief that the un- 
der part of the great continental glacier, lying in the Valley 
of the Connecticut^ moved in the direction of the valley, 
either while the glacier was at its maximum thickness and 
held on its southeasterly course, or after its partial decline. 
He now, in the October number of the Journal of.JScienoey 
proceeds to state the eviden(3e in regard to the Connecticut 
Valley movement, and to show that other large valleys of 
Central and Western ^ew England had also, in the s^me 
sense, their valley glaciers ; that is, they determined the di- 
rection of the ice that lay within them. The facts appealed 
to for the support of these conclusions are drawn partly from 
bis own observations^ but also from the reports of Dr. E. 
Hitchcock, Professor C. H Hitchcock, Professor Hagar, and 

These observations show that on the higher lands, both 


east and west of the Gonnecticut, the great continental gla- 
cier had a southeastward course, varying somewhat in par- 
ticular latitudes, and that it moved over the elevated lauds 
to the east of the river, keeping right onward, with little va- 
riation in its main movement, notwithstanding the ridges in 
its course, and probably following the general slope of the 
surface of New England. This being true of the movement 
of the main mass, other facts show that the bottom ice of the 
great glacier often followed the courses of the valleys be- 
neath it. . 

He also discusses the question whether the scratches in. the 
valleys were made in the glacial era, while the glacier was 
of nearly or quite its maximum thickness, or during the de- 
cline of the glacier, when its thickness was so diminished as 
to make the ice of the valleys essentially independent gla- 
ciers, and comes to the conclusion that the valley ice in the 
Connecticut bad, throughout its southern half, its own inde- 
pendent southward motion, mostly unmodified ^ during the 
whole progress of the glacial era, but that among the more 
northern part of the valley there were modifications in the 
valley movement referred to, and also scratches made by the 
general glacier. — 4 JP, October^lSlly 288. 


In the preceding article we give an abstract of Professor 
Dana's paper in the Americcm Journal of Science upon the 
great continental glaciers of North America, and in the No- 
vember number of that magazine he continues this highly 
interesting topic, and proceeds to investigate its source, or 
the position of the great plateau which constituted the start- 
ing-point of the glacier movement. After a. full discussion 
of the direction of the rock scratches at difierent points in 
New England and Canada, he comes to the conclusion that 
the region of greatest elevation in question along the water- 
shed and that of the icy plateau must have been situated 
between Lake Temiscaming and Lake Mistissinny, and that 
its trend was consequently northeast and southwest, this be- 
ing nearly that of the watet-sh«d between the lakes — a trend 
just tight for a southeast movement of the ice. The height 
of this Canadian water-shed must have been at least four 
thousand five hundred feet greater than at the present time. 


The present difference from that level is not due, in all 
probability, to denudation, but rather to a subsequent de- 
pression of the level of the surface following the previous ele- 
vation. This elevation of the surface of the land of Northern 
Canada into a great plateau at least as high as the summit 
of Mount Washington, with the less elevations north and 
south as a part of the great swell of the surface, and with the 
simultaneous elevation of other, perhaps higher plateaus over 
the more northern and northwestern portions of the continent, 
and all following the majestic uplifts of the tertiary, would 
have made a glacial period for North America, whatever the 
position of the ecliptic, or whatever the eccentricity of the 
earth's orbit, though more readily, of course, if other circum- 
stances favored. Having the most elevated land of eastern 
North America along the region pointed out, the courses of 
the winds and the distribution of moisture would have been 
different from the present. Canada, being then on the* sea- 
ward slope of the high land, instead of, as now, on the land- 
ward slope, could not have had its comparatively dry climate 
with only an annual fall of thirty inches of moisturel Ac- 
cording to Professor Dana, in the subsidence of this plateau 
it is'probable that the same region was depressed even below 
its present level, this probably initiating the melting of the 
glacier, followed by a return movement, with possibly minor 
oscillations during the same period. — 42>, Nbv,^ 1871, 373. 


Dr. Robert Brown, in a communication on the " Interior of 
Greenland," states that the result of all the attempted explo- 
rations of the interior goes to show that* this is one huge mer 
de ghice^ of which the outlets and ovei'flow are the compara- 
tively small glaciers on the coast, though, when compared 
with the glacier system of the Alps, they are of gigantic size. 
The outskirting land is, to all intents and purposes, merely a 
circlet of islands of greater or less extent. There are, in all 
probability, no niountains in the interior — only a high plateau, 
from which the unbroken ice is shed on either side to the east 
and west, the greater slope being toward the west. No moun- 
tains have been seen in the interior, the prospect being gen- 
erally bounded by a dim, icy horizon. Dr. Brown considers 
Greenland susceptible of being crossed from side to side with 


dog or other sledges, provided the party start under experi- 
enced gaides, and sufficiently early in the year. — 15 A^ Aih 
^i«« 19, 1871, 247. 



A report on the geology of Jamaica, by Mr. James G. Saw- 
kins, has recently been published by the British govemment, 
and, in the interest attaching to the West Indies at the pres- 
ent time, furnishes an important addition to our means of ob- 
taining a thorough acquaintance with that region. The phys- 
ical geology and the special structure of the island are given 
in considerable detail in this work, which is accompanied by 
a large map of the island, suitably colored to show the differ- 
ent geological formations. Several appendices are given in 
the volume, one of them being a complete classification of the 
organic remains of the island, by Mr. Etheridge, who refers 
them respectively to their equivalents in the cretaceous and 
tertiary deposits of Earope. According to Sir Roderio Mur- 
chison, the practical coHclusiohs to be reached from the report 
ofMr. Sawkins ahdthe appendix of Mr. Etheridge are that, 
in Jamaica, as in most of the West India islands, tlie princi-' 
pal geological deposits are almost exclusively, of the miocene 
age of the tertiary series, the only exceptions being in Trini- 
dad and Jamaica, where eocene and cretaceous formations oc- 
cur. Hence it follows that the igneous rocks which are asso- 
ciated with such' deposits are for the most part either of the 
miocene age or posterior to that era, some of them, indeed, 
having been recently erupted. 



• At a meeting of the Boston Society of Natural History a 
communication was presented by Count Pourtal^s in reference 
to the character of the sea bottom off the coast of the United 
States south of Cape Hatteras, and based upon the researches 
of the Coast Survey. According to his statement, the princi- 
pal constituent of the coast is silicious sand from the coast- 
line to about the line of one hundred fathoms — a limit which 
coincides nearly with the inner edge of the Gulf Stream 
throughout the: greater part of its course. Outside of this 
line is a whitish calcareous mud, containing globigerina, and- 



extending probably over the greater part of the ocean. Sonth 
of the Vineyard Islands, and to the eastern end of Long Isl-* 
and, the silicious sand is replaced by a kind of bluish mud 
known as the Block Island soundings. A similar mud is 
found off Sandy Hook in a range of depressions known as 
mud-holes, which form a leading mark by which to find the 
port of New York in thick weather. A few rocky patches 
are found east of the neighborhood of New York, and a rocky 
bottom occurs, sparingly, near Cape Fear, but otherwise the 
sand is pretty unifoi*m, varying only in the size of its grain. 
On the inner edge of the Gulf Stream there is a deposit of 
green sand composed of the cast-off foraminifera. 


' Owing to various climatological causes, a remarkable de- 
crease in the lower borders of the Swiss glaciers took place 
duiing the year 1870, and careful trigonometrical measure- 
ments of their summits revealed a corresponding depression. 
One ice-peak in the Tyrolese Alps, which formerly was a lit- 
tle over eleven thousand Vienna feet in height, has been 1*6- 
duced,'ii^thin a few years past, to the extent of eighteen and 
a half English feet, leaving only three instead of four points 
in these Alps reaching the former altitude. — 7 (7, & 71, v., 304. 


Duiing the present year there has been an unusual number 
of land-slides, and sinkings of the ground over considerable 
areas in different parts of the country, one of the most strik- 
ing being the dropping out, so to speak, of a portion of the 
harbor of St. John, New Brunswick, last winter. Quite late- 
ly* again, three acres of land on the Delaware division of the 
Erie Railway suddenly sank below the ground to the depth 
of about forty feet, leaving the tops of the trees just visible 
above the suxface. As an instance of a more gradual sinking 
of an extended region, it is said that the islands of Jersey and 
Guernsey, in the British Channel, have subsided to the extent 
of forty feet in five hundred years. 


Mr. Yarley has lately expressed the belief that many earth- 
quakes are due to the action of mftghetic currents through 


the body of the earth, basing this impression . upon the fre- 
quent coincidence of violent disturbances of the magnetic 
needle with earthquake shocks. This view is corroborated 
by a recent communication of Professor Sumichrast, an emi- 
nent naturalist residing in Mexico, who expresses the opinion 
that it will not be far from the truth to state that the major- 
ity of earthquakes experienced in Mexico are due to magnetic 
agencies rather than volcanic, the concurrent deviation of the 
magnetic needle, the sudden heating of the atmosphere, etc., 
seeming to point to magnetic action. 


In a recent report of the governor of the province of Leon 
to the general government of Ecuador, it is stated that in 
February, 1869, noises wei*e heard on the mountains of the 
Western Cordilleras in the vicinity of Cotopaxi, and that 
immense masses, of earth and rock were thrown out, while 
springs of water buret forth in such quantity that the rivers 
were overflowed and much damage done, the phenomena be- 
ing unaccompanied, however, by earthquakes. The climate, 
too, seemed to have become much hotter than previously, 
many kinds of plants having flowered that had never done so 
heforej and the sugar-cane, being flt to cut in twenty-four 
months instead of thirty. Since 1869 the springs have all 
dried up, and the volcano has become inactive, and from these 
indications it is feared that a new disturbance is breeding 
which may produce great damage on breaking out. — JPanama 
iSiar and SisraMj June 1^1811. 


• * - 

Xes MondeB for October 5 contains elaborate articles by 
Elie de Beaumont and ^mondi upon the geology of the 
Alps, in connection with the Mont Cenis Tunnel, in which full 
details are given of the structure of this mountain chain, and 
of the history of the enterprise connected with its perforation. 

In regard to the geology of the Alps, Mr. Sismondi sums 
up with the following conclusions : first, that the anthracitif* 
erons rocks of the Alps constitute three ^groups, diflfering 
from each other in the nature of their rocks, in variance of 
level in their beds, and in the remains of organic substances 
which they contain ; second, the order in which the rocks 

J 11- 



succeed each other, from below above, is the same as that in 
which they were originally deposited ; third, the contortion 
of the beds is a purely local incident, the folds of one group 
never extending to another associated with it; fourth, the 
three groups of rocks are folded simultaneously in the form 
of the letter V — ^that is to say, like the sides of a boat, a fold- 
ing which does not alter the original order ; fifth, the vestiges 
of carboniferous plants have hitherto been found in only two 
groups, the lower and upper ; sixth, in the middle group ani- 
mal remains of the three liassic ordere have hitherto been 
alone found, and these minted together, all equally well pre- 
served, and in the upper benches some remains of the oolitic 
period ; seventh, in the inferior group the rocks with vegeta- 
ble impressions are associated with others containing casts 
of liassic moUusks, which are. entirely wanting in the upper 
group; eighth j impressions of leaves predominate in the low- 
er group, and of stems in the upper. Besides these, in the 
lower group there are found scarcely any traces of anthracite, 
while this combustible is very abundant in the upper group. 
For these and some other reasons, which our space will not 
permit us to reproduce, Mr. Sismondi is led to assent to the 
inference of Mr. De Beaumont, that the three groups of rocks 
in question belong to one and the same geological formation, 
namely, the Jurassic. — 3 jB, October 6, 1871, 64. 


According to a recent account, a company which has been 
boring near Lake Ainslie, in Inverness County, Cape Breton, 
struck oil a* short time ago at a depth of 660 feet, with every 
prospect of securing an ample supply. The discovery has 
created quite a fever in Nova Scotia, and companies are being 
forniied, and large tract^ of land secured, for the purpose of. 
going into the oil business. — N.Y, Shipping JLiat^Dec. 28, 1 870.^ 


A new and remarkable variety of cannel coal has recently 
been announced in the American Gas-Light Journal as hav- 
ing been lately discovered on the Red Bank River, in Arm- 
strong County, Pennsylvania. It is a variety of cannel coal, 
but has the curious peculiarity that when cut, or even rub-? 
bed with a knife-blade, it'assumes a brilliant lustre precisely 

' "• • .'■v »- 

« b I k 

» » 

) ' ' . , ' » 



like plumbago. It easily streaks paper, the streak having a 
slightly olive-brown tinge, and being indelible by India-rub- 
ber. As a combustible it is of excellent quality, and as such 
will doubtless be soon brought to the notice of the public. — 
Gas-Light Journal^ December 3, 1870. 


A scientific commission in the intei*est of the government 
of Peru has lately been investigating the guano deposits of 
the Lobos Isldnds ; and it is reported that the result of their 
inquiries has been satisfactory, and that immense quantities 
of very rich guano, equal, if not superior to that of the Chin- 
cha Islands, have been observed. The analyses of samples 
are said to have yielded over thirteen per cent, of amihonia. 
— Panama Star and Herald^ November 2, 1871, 7. 


Professor Shaler considers that the Chesapeake and Dela- 
ware bays, like many of the deep gorges in Switzerland and 
elsewhere, were formed by the action of ice, and that the ex- 
istence of Cape Hatteras is due to the uplifting of the rocks 
on which Richmond is situated. The sand-bars on the coast 
he believes to have been formed by the material dug out of 
the • Delaware and Chesapeake bays by this ice action, and 
worked southward by the united force of the floods and cur- 
rents. He finds that, after we pass these bars, south of Wel- 
don the sea-bottom is totally distinct in character, being pure- 
ly submarine, and formed by the action pf the sea. He points 
out the existence of a rise and fall of the coast at different 
portions of its extent ; this, in the most recent geological pe- 
riod, amounting at Charleston, South Carolina, to from 50 to 
60 feet ; in Maine to 200 feet ; and to a still greater degree on 
the coast of Labrador. As a general rule, he thought there 
was evidence to prove that, taking a line from the centre of 
the continent to the centre of the sea, the sea-floor was com- 
ing up and the high elevations were coming down. 

Mr. Hyatt states that observations made by the Coast Sur- 
vey showed that the coast of Long Island Sound, and south- 
ward in New Jersey, has been sinking, while the Florida Keys 
are rising ; and Mr. Niles remarked that, from the earliest 
times, in the Adirondacks and different points southerly, there 


had been peninsulas corresponding in position to Florida, and 
that this is simply the most southern, and- latest of a success 
sion from north to south. — JV. Boston S. Nat. Hist^February. 


Professor Marsh, in the Journal of Science^ referred to a 
locality in California abounding in fossil trees to such an ex- 
tent as to constitute a veritable forest. The region in ques- 
tion is sitting on a high, rocky ridge in Napa County, Cali- 
foniia, near Calistoga Hot Springs, and about ten miles from 
the summit of Mount St. Helena. The ridge itself belongs to 
the Coast Range series, and forms the divide between the 
Napa and Santa Rosa valleys. It is a'bout two thousand feet 
in height, and is composed of metamorphic rock of the creta- 
ceous period, overlaid unconformably by later tertiary strata^ 
consisting of light - colored, coarse sandstone, and beds of 
stratified volcanic ashes. A careful examination showed that 
the trees on the surface of the ground had been weathered 
out of the volcanic tufa and sandstone, and consequently 
were of the tertiary age ; and also that there remained still 
imbedded in the volcanic tufa, etc., an extensive forest of 
very large trees, stretching over a great area. Some of the 
trees Were of great size, a portion of one having been traced 
for a length of sixty-three feet,- with a diameter of seven feet 
nearer its smaller end. Another tree indicated an original 
diameter of not less than twelve feet. All wei*e prostrate, and 
had apparently been thrown down by the volcanic current 
which covered them. Many were much decayed internally 
and worm-eaten before they were buried. All of the wood 
was silicified, probably by means of hot alkaline waters con- 
taining silica in solution — a frequent result of volcanic action. 

A careful examination of the wood obtained at this locali- 
ty showed no essential difference in structure from that of 
the modern red-woods of California (of the genus Sequoia). 
No other fossils were met with, which rendered it somewhat 
difficult to fix the precise epoch ; but it is considered proba- 
ble by the professor that the trees belonged to the pliocene 
period. The origin of the volcanic material which covered 
the forest could not be ascertained, although it was supposed 
to have been derived from Mount St. Helena, which is the 
nearest volcanic peak. — 4 D^April^ 1871. 




A recent number of 77ie Academy contains a notice, by 
Keith Johnston, Jun., of a collection of essays by Oscar Pes- 
chel, composed of a series of articles published in Ausland^ a 
weekly journal of geography and anthropology, of which Dr. 
Peschel was editor until quite recently, when he was succeed- 
ed by Dr. Bocmeister, and still more lately by Fr. von Hell- 
wald. The subjects discussed in these essays consist of cer- 
tain problems in comparative geography, in this instance re- 
stricted more to the purely physical conditions of the earth 
than is the case in the well-known work of Carl Ritter,which 
Peschel thinks should be entitled " Geographical Theology, 
or an Attempt to Penetrate the Design of the Creator from 
a Study of his Works." Various subjects are treated of in 
this series, among the more noteworthy of which, according 
ta Mr. Johnston, may be mentioned that on the formation of 
fiords, which are deep and precipitous cuttings into a steep 
coast, generally at a high angle, and are usually aggregated 
together considerably wherever they occur. They are found 
only on the coasts of Europe and America, and mostly on 
west or north coasts, being confined in Europe to regions 
north of the fifty-first parallel; on the east Coast of America 
to the forty-fourth, and on the west coast to above the forty- 
eighth degree. In the southern hemisphere no fiords occur 
within a limit of forty-one degrees from the equator. On a 
careM examination of these fiords, their bounds are found to 
agree with the winter isothermal lines, none of them occur- 
ring in any warmer zone than that shut off by a yearly tem- 
perature of 60° Fahr. Within this space, however, they nev- 
er fail to appear where a steep coast-line and heavy rain-fall 
are seen to exist together. In general they are either chan- 
nels through which glaciers find their way at present to the 
sea, or show marks of having been formerly occupied by them.. 

In answer to the question whether these physical features 
may not have been produced by glaciers, Dr. Peschel responds 


that they mark the outlines of a former and now retreating 
glacial covering, which has protected these remains of still 
earlier upheavals from the weathering and degradation which 
has befallen any such raised and broken surfaces in warmer 

In another essay Dr. Peschel opposes the theory of the ex- 
istence of mountains and valleys in the sea bed correspond- 
ing to the inequalities of this character observed on the land, 
and maintains that every island is either the unsubmerged 
height of a sinking portion of the continent nearest to which 
it lies, identifiable as a former portion of the main land by its 
geological structure, its fauna, or its flora, or else that it has 
been independently raised by volcanic force or by the labors 
of the coral insect. 

In another chapter Dr. Peschel opposes the idea that the 
mountain ranges have been formed by outbursts of incandes- 
cent lava ; but finds in chemistry the power needed for the 
result, especially in the combinations of carbonic acid and 
silica, which produce a chemical change resulting in the re- 
duction in specific gravity, and a considerable increase in the 
volume of the mass. 

From a careful study of the subject. Dr. Peschel thinks he 
can show that since the tertiary period the continents have 
tended to add to their extent northward and westward, and 
to lose by submergence to the south and east, the gain in the 
one case being exactly counterbalanced by the loss in the 
other, the proportions of land and water remaining the same. 
He also consider* it to be a popular fallacy that the destruc- 
tion of forests reduces the rain-fall on the land, and thinks it 
useless to attempt planting in those countries in which woods 
have not flourished naturally in historic times. This idea, 
however, Mr. Johnston very sensibly opposes as being contra- 
ry to well-established facts. — IS A^ June 1,1871,286. 


The daily papers of the past summer have kept their read- 
ers advised of the preparation of the great exploring expedi- 
tion upon which Professor Agassiz has been expecting to en- 
gage during the voyage of the Coast Survey steamer Hass- 
ler from Boston to San Francisco, by way of the Straits of 
Magellan. The expedition was originally to start as early as 

r. GEOGRAPHY. 105 

July or August, and in that event the exploration in ques- 
tion would have commenced off the coast of the United States. 
Owing, however, to unexpected delays, the vessel has but re- 
cently fitted out and reported at Boston, where she has been 
detained, undergoing alterations of her machinery. We have 
already noticed the general plan and objects of the expedi- 
tion. The scientific corps, as will be remembered, consists 
of Professor and Mrs. Agassiz, Count Pourtales, Ex-President 
Hill, of Cambridge, Dr. White, Mr. James Blake, and Dr. Stein- 
dachner, each gentleman having special charge of a particu- 
lar department of the work, and interested in its successful 
accomplishment. The vessel itself is under the command of 
Captain P. C. Johnson, with Messrs. Kennedy and Day as lieu- 
tenants. Owing to the lateness of the season, the original 
plan of making extended explorations in the West Indies and 
off the eastern coast of South America has necessarily been 
modified, and the vessel will probably proceed almost direct- 
ly to the Falkland Islands and the Straits of Magellan, there 
to commence the comprehensive investigations proposed, as 
otherwise a sufficient share of the summer season of the 
Straits could not be secured. The Atlantic Ocean work thus 


given up will, in all probability, partly, at least, be performed 
by the A. D. Bache, a consort of the Hassler, next year. — Bos- 
ton Advertiser^ N', Y, Tribune^ etc. 


Just before the departure of the United States Coast Sur- 
vey exploring steamer Hassler upon its scientific mission, 
Professor Agassiz addressed a communication to the Super- 
intendent of the Coast Survey, in which he ventured to as- 
sume the character of a prophet by stating in advance what 
it was' probable would crown their efforts in the way of dis- 
covery*. .^ 

The professor makes this communication in the hope of 
showing within what limits natural history has advanced to- 
ward that point of maturity when science may anticipate the 
discovery of facts. Basing his expectations upon the ascer- 
tained principles of science, and taking into consideration the 
relationships between different forms of animal life, and the 
succession of geological epochs, and in view of the very in- 
teresting results of later deep-sea dredging expeditions in 

E 2 


the North Atlantic, he anticipates the discovery, " from the 
greater depth of the ocean, of representatives resembling 
those types of animals which were prominent in earlier geo- 
logical periods, or bear a closer resemblance to younger stages 
of the higher members of the same types, or to the lower 
forms which take their place nowadays." 

Making no suggestion in regard to mammals, he remarks 
that if reptiles exist in the deep waters, they must be only 
such as are related to the extinct types of the Jurassic pe- 
riods, such as the ichthyosauri, plesiosauri, and pterodactyles ; 
but even of these he thinks there is very little probability 
that any representatives are still alive. 

Among the fishes he expects to discover some marine rep- 
resentatives of the order of ganoids of the pnncipal types 
known from the secondary zoological period. Among the 
sharks he thinks he shall find new forms allied to Cestracion, 
or Hybodon, or Odontaspis, as also new genera of chimse- 
roids; and among ordinary fishes the allies of Beryx, Elops, 
etc. It is among the mollusks and radiates that objects of 
the greatest intei-est will probably be met with ; and chief 
among these will be nautiloid cephalopods — perhaps even am- 
monites — and forms only known hitherto in the fossil state. 
Among Acephala he anticipates the discovery of a variety 
of forms resembling those from the Jurassic and cretaceous 
deposits in great variety, while Rudistes will take the place 
of oysters, and brachiopods be found very abundant. • 

Among Crustacea it is not at all impossible that forms may 
be found resembling trilobites; while among £chinoderms 
he confidently expects to meet with spatangoids approaching 
Holaster, and others akin to Dysaster, etc. 

A careful comparison of the members of t^e deep-sea fauna 
of the northern and southern hemispheres will probably prove 
of the greatest interest, and, judging from the peculiarities of 
the land and shore fauna of Australia, it is likely that the ad- 
jacent deep-sea animals will be equally divergent, and repre- 
sent remarkable forms, and especially of an extremely an- 
tique type. 

"^he professor also hopes that much light will be thrown 
upon the subject of the geology of the southern hemisphere, 
and upon the general features of the drifb, since all the phe- 
nomena related to the glacial period must be found in the 



Bouthem hemisphere with the same essential characteristics 
as in the northern, yet with this diiference, that every thing 
mast be reversed ; that is, the trend of the glacial abrasion 
must be from the south northward * the lee side of the abra- 
ded rocks must be on the north side of hills and mountain 
ranges, and the boulders must have been derived from rocky 
exposures lying to the south of their present position. This 
point, however, must be established by observation. The 
professor thinks this will be found to be the case, with the 
exception, perhaps, of the present glaciers of Tierra delFuego 
and Patagonia. 

In reply to the possible inquiry as to what the question of 
drift has to do with deep-sea dredging, he remarks that the 
connection is closer than may at first appear. If drift is not 
of glacial origin, but the product of marine currents, its for- 
mation at once becomes a misbtterfor the Coast Survey to in- 
vestigate; but he expresses the [belief that it will be found 
that, so 'far from being accumulated by the sea, the drift of 
the low lands of Patagonia has been worn away to its pres- 
ent extent by the continued encroachment of the ocean in 
the same manner as the northern shores of South America 
and^f Brazil have been. 


^^ • 

Few establishments devoted to geographical research are 
more industrious in fulfilling their mission than the Imperial 
Russian Geographical Society of St. Petersburg, as shown by 
the bulletins of progress published monthly by its secretary. 
Among other enterprises recently enumerated as now under 
prosecution are, first, the ethnological researches of Kusne- 
row in the northwestern portion of the Russian empire; sec- 
ond, investigations of the regions along the southern and 
southwestern bank of Lake Onega ; third, geological investi- 
gations in Finland and Sweden; fourth, investigations into 
the production of grain and the grain trade of Russia in the 
interior provinces of the country; fifth, an ethnographical ex- 
pedition into the region of the Southern TJssuri ; sixth, an ex- 
pedition among the Tschuchchis ; seventh, a scientific expe- 
dition along the Angara, for the purpose of investigating the 
waterfalls of this river ; eighth, a number of miscellaneous 
enterprises of less moment ; and, finally, the important jour- 



ney of Count Micklucbo Maclay, to which we have refeiTed 
in a previous article. This, as already stated, has for its ob- 
ject the investigation of the islands of the Pacific Ocean; and 
the latest advices were received from Valparaiso on the 80th 
of May last. The corvette Witjas, carrying the party, was 
then on its way to New Guinea, which they hoped to i^each 
within three months. The occasion ora brief halt of the ves- 
sel at Valparaiso was taken to visit Santiago, and thence the 
northern portion of the province of Aconcagua, this being a 
mountain 6834 metres in height, and considered for a long 
time to be volcanic, but, as was ascei*tained by the investiga- 
tions of Piscis, having no volcanic peculiarities whatever. — 
3 (7, xxxvL, September 4, 1871, 861. 


The Hydrograpbic OflSce of the Bureau of Navigation of 
the United States has lately published a monograph upon the 
Marshall group of islands in the North Pacific. This group 
consists of two chains of islands, lying nearly parallel with 
each other, and running northwest and southeast from lati- 
tude 1 1'' 50' N. to 4° 30' N., and from longitude 167*" E. to 173° 
E., covering an area of over 350 by 400 miles in extent,%nd 
very little known to navigators, the information hitherto on 
record being considered very unreliable. The eastern chain 
is known as the Badack, and the western as the Ralick, each 
numbering from fifteen to eighteen groups of low coralline 
islands, the greater number of which are fully formed atolls — 
that is, lagoons of greater or less extent — with deep water 
and anchorarges, surrounded by a chain of reefs, connecting 
islands, with one or more passages through the reefs into the 
lagoons, most of which are navigable for large vessels, besides 
which there are numerous boat passages. 

The earliest discovery of this archipelago is said to have 
been by Laevedra in 1629, and the next visit made to them 
was by Anson in 1 742. Since then the islands . have been 
touched at by different navigators at various times, although 
until the appearance of the report just referred to but little 
definite information had been brought together of the archi- 
pelago as a group. A missionary establishment was started, 
on one of these islands in 1867, which continues to be suc- 
cessful to the present time. The inhabitants numbered, at 


the latest accounts, 10,000. They are expert navigators, and 
perform journeys throughout the group. They are dark, with 
straight hair, and are said to be intelligent and hospitable. — 
Bep: Sydrographic Office, 


It has been already announced in our papers, by advices 
from London, that Aurora Island, in the New Hebrides group, 
situated about fifteen degrees east of Australia, had lately 
disappeared entirely, without leaving any trace of its exist- 
ence ; and the fact, it is said, has been corroborated by an 
American whaler which lately arrived at Honolulu. This isl- 
and was one of the most fertile of the group* and it is stated 
to have been thirty-six miles long by upward of five miles in 
breadth. In this same connection it may be mentioned that 
the American whaler Milton, lately arrived at the Bay of Isl- 
ands, in Northern New Zealand, reported that when they 
touched at Sunday Island it was on fire iii all directions, and 
had been in that state for nearly forty days. During the 
heavy shocks of earthquakes preceding and after the erup- 
tions two islands were thrown up in the harbor, one of them 
being, as nearly as could be judged, about thi^ee hundred feet 
high. Two families were living on Sunday Island, and on 
the arrival of the whaler begged to be taken away, as the 
heat was so intense and the sulphurous smell so strong that 
all the animals about them were destroyed, and their fate 
must have been the same if they had remained much longer. 
They were accordingly carried to the Norfolk Islands, and 
left there in safety.— A^«? Bedford Mercury, 


The great degree of activity exhibited within the past few 
years in the way of arctic exploration has revived in the 
minds of various persons the propriety of endeavoring to 
solve the remaining problems of the south polar regions. A 
special interest attaches to this inquiry in connection with 
the impending transit of Venus in 1874, since, for the success- 
ful answer to all the questions depending upon the observa- 
tion of this phenomenon, it is of the utmost importance to se- 
cure antarctic stations of high latitude as remote as possible 
from the points now known to be accessible. 


Among those who have interested themselves more par- 
ticalarly with this question is Dr. Neumayer, who has brought 
it to the consideration of the Academy of Science of Vienna 
and the Academy of Science of Pesth ; and there is now some 
reason to believe that the Austro-Hungarian empire will take 
up the subject at an early day, and dispatch an expedition, 
both for the purpose of scientific discovery and also for ascer- 
taininor whether an astronomical station for the obseinration 
of the phenomenon referred to can be obtained. In addition, 
to the points already selected — namely, Kerguelen Land and 
Auckland Islands — a third is especially desirable in the very 
region where there is the most probability of penetrating to 
a high latitude. 

For a number of yeara scientific inquiry was quite rife to- 
ward and in the antarctic circle, discovery following discov- 
ery in quite rapid succession. The most brilliant period was 
that extending from 1838 to 1843, when three gi'eat national 
expeditions, under the command of Admiral D'Urville for 
France, Sir James Ross for England, and Captain Wilkes for 
the United States, prosecuted their researches. It is hardly 
necessary to attempt a summary of what was accomplished 
by those intrepid navigators, or to discuss the question as to 
whether the lands discovered by Captain Wilkes were conti- 
nental or insular. One discovery of great moment, by Sir 
James Ross, was that of active volcanoes in South Victoria 
Land having a heigbt of 12,000 feet, access to which was 
barred by a wall of solid ice 200 feet in height, along which 
he sailed for hundreds of miles without finding an opportuni- 
ty to penetrate farther into the interior. Since 1843, with 
the single exception of the voyage of the Pagoda, under Cap- 
tain Moore, in 1845, little, if any thing, has been done to ex- 
tend the area of research beyond the critical collation of log- 
books of sailors with a view to determine the precise nature 
of the ocean currents and the temperature of the sea, from 
which, however, important generalizations have been derived. 

Of late years, a^already stated, renewed attention has been 
directed toward the antarctic lands, largely in consequence 
of the publications of the Meteorological Institute of the 
Netherlands, in which it is shown that the current of warm 
water which comes from the Straits of Mozambique, and is 
known further south as the Agulhas Stream, does not, as orig- 

F. GEOGRAPHY. 1 1 1 

inally supposed, continue round the Cape of Good Hope, but 
at the southern point of Africa bends around toward the east, 
and unites with the waters that strike along the coast of Aus- 
tralia, and in the region of Kerguelen Land turns more and 
more to the south, having been traced in that direction as far 
as>the fiftieth degree of south latitude. How much further 
it goes has not yet been ascertained ; but it is extremely 
probable, judging from the analogies of the currents of the 
northeni hemisphere, that this may peneti-ate to quite a high 
latitude, and that it is along its path that researches are to 
be prosecuted which will lead more or less near to the heart 
of the mystery that now surrounds the south pole. 

The discoveries of Ross and Weddell are really due to 
their persistency in following the warm currents — the first 
from New Zealand^ and the other to the south of Cape Horn. 
Thera is the more hope of a satisfactory result in this experi* 
ment, as little special effort hitherto has been made in that 
direction. And if, as already stated, it is in that region that 
the best location for a third antarctic astronomical station is 
to be found, additional zest will be given to the inquiry. It 
is quite probable that one result of a successful exploration 
will be to limit very materially the supposed mass of land, 
as many of our best geographers maintain the existence of an 
archipelago of islands, firmly united by band^ of ice, rather 
than a continent. This is an d priori conclusion, fortified by 
general climatological analogies, and can only be substanti- 
ated by actual observations. — 1 (7, xxin,, 3^3. 


An interesting communication in regard to the currents of 
the Mediterranean has lately been made in various journals, 
by Dr. William B. Carpentei', based upon the result of his ex- 
periments made on board the Porcupine during the deep-sea 
sounding surveys in the Mediterranean in the past year. We 
have already given our readers a synopsis of the results ob- 
tainedin the summer of 1869 on board the Porcupine, during 
the expeditions of which Dr. Cai*penter was also a member ; 
and although the work of 1870 does not include dredgings at 
such enormous depths as three miles, it is scarcely inferior in 
value. One of the most important points reached was the 
determination of a deep-sea current in the Mediterranean run- 


ning to the westward, as the coanterpart of the surface cur- 
rent from the eastward through the straits. This had been 
suspected for a long time, in view of the fact that a current 
was continually entering the straits from the Atlantic ; it be- 
ing, of course, readily inferred that this surface current was 
to restore the level of the Mediterranean, lowered by the im- 
mense amount of evaporation. In the opinion of some, the 
effect was simply to concentrate the salt of this inland sea 
and cause it to saturate the lower strata, and perhaps even 
to form solid beds of salt at the bottom. This supposition, 
however, can easily be proved to be untenable. The method 
adopted by the Porcupine party to show the existence of an 
outward under-current consisted in the use of what was call- 
ed the " cuiTent drag," an apparatus so constructed as to pre- 
sent a resisting surface so much larger than that of the boat 
from which it was suspended, that although the latter might 
tend to move in the direction of the surface cun*ent, this 
would be counteracted by the action of the under-current 
upon the " drag." In some instances the effect was simply 
to retard the velocity of the surface movement, but in oth- 
ers the boat was actually carried against the sui*face current 
by that of a lower depth. 

A chemical examination of the water brought up from great 
depths in the Mediterranean proved, as suspected, that the 
deep-sea water was more salt than that at the surface, and 
that, consequently^, the tendency to saturation existed, but 
nothing could be fgund to show the existence of a bed of salt 
at the bottom; and strata of water of less density were met 
with below those of greater density. It will, therefore, be 
readily understood that the outward current in large part car- 
ries with it the excess of salt produced by the surface evapo- 
ration referred to. The cause of the circulation itself is due, 
according to Dr. Carpenter, to purely hydrostatic action, which 
he explains as follows : The water of the Mediterranean is 
continually losing by evaporation a larger amount than is re- 
turned to it by rain or iFivers, and consequently the inflow 
from the Atlantic must take place to keep up this level. If 
this inflow consisted of fresh water, the total quantity of salt 
in the Mediterranean would remain the same, and the densi- 
ty would therefore undergo no increase. But as the upper 
current of salt water brings in a certain quantity of salt, in 


addition to that which the Mediterranean basin previously 
contained, the density of this water is increased, and a col- 
umn of it reaching to any given depth becomes heavier than 
a coiTesponding column of Atlantic water. Consequently 
the excess of downward pressure will displace the lower por- 
tion of the column of water, which will flow outward as an 
"under-current. The withdrawal of a portion of the lower 
stratum will produce a renewed reduction of the surface lev- 
el, taken in connection with continued evaporation, and this 
will occasion a further inflow of Atlantic water, which in 
turn undergoes concentration. And this interchange will be 
maintained pei'petually, thei*e being, on the one hand, a tend- 
ency to the restoration of the level lowered by excessive 
evaporation, and on the other a tendency to a restoration of 
the equilibrium disturbed by excess of pressure. The inflow 
and outflow will thus keep each other in check, so that neither 
the lowering of the level nor the increase of density will ever 
exceed a very limited amount. 

This explanation. Dr. Carpenter thinks, received additional 
confirmation by the phenomena observed by the currents of 
the Baltic. Here an immense amount of fresh water is re- 
ceived from the lakes and rivers, which tends to dilute the 
waters of the sea. An outflow is established from the sur- 
face, which, of course, being continued without any counter- 
acting tendency, would in time wash out every particle of 
salt, were it not for an under-current which brings back into 
it the salt water from the North Sea. Thus, while the sur- 
face current is tending to reduce the level of the Baltic to 
that of the North Sea, the influx of fresh water into the Bal- 
tic, and the outflow of a portion of the salt water must tend 
to diminish the density; and the equilibrium is maintained 
by the inward passage of a body of salt water from the 
depths. The case is, therefore, exactly the reverse of that of 
the MediteiTanean, but such as would be expected in view of 
the hypothesis advanced by Dr. Cs^rpeutew-T-l^ A^ November 
30 and April 6 ; also Contemporary Beview. 


In a previous article we have given Dr. Carpenter's ac- 
count of the outward deep-sea current from the Mediterra- 
nean into the Atlantic, corresponding with the surface cur- 


rent flowing inweird, together with his explanation of the 
physical cause of this circulation. The phenomena observed 
have led him to suggest some striking views in reference to 
the currents of the ocean, especially those known as streams^ 
and also the general movement of the entire body of water. 
The Gulf Stream of the North Atlantic he considers to be 
due by the impulse given by the trade winds to the superfi- 
cial layer* of the portion of the Atlantic over which they 
blow, ci*eating what is known as the equatorial current, which 
moves constantly from the coast of Africa toward that of 
America, the northern portion entering the Caribbean Sea 
and the Gulf of Mexico, where it i*eceives a further accession 
of heat, and undergoes a change of direction, in consequence 
of the resistance offered by the American coast-line ; thence 
issuing in a northeasterly direction through the naiTow strait 
between Florida and the Bahama Islands. In its course ob- 
liquely across the North Atlantic Ocean the Gulf Stream 
gradually spreads itself out, diminishing in depth as it in* 
creases in breadth ; and when it approaches the Banks of 
Newfoundland, one portion of it bends round the Azores, and 
returns in the equatorial current, thus completing the shorter 
circuit of that AomoTi^aZ movement of which the primum mo* 
bile is the action of the trade winds. The other portion con- 
tinues its northeasterly coast past the Banks, there meeting 
with arctic surface currents which tend to neutralize its 
movement and to reduce its temperature. Of these currents, 
the principal, formed by the junction of the Labrador and 
Greenland currents, sweeps southward along the Atlantic 
sea-board of the TTnited States, not only cutting this off from 
the influence of the Gulf Stream, but reducing its winter tem- 
perature considerably below the normal temperature of the 

This current, however, is quite different from the. general 
movement of the entire Atlantic Ocean, which, he thinks, 
takes place under precisely the same conditions as those 
which he has pointed out in the case of the Mediterranean. 
He simply substitutes in the explanation the polar basin for 
the Mediterranean, cooled down by the withdrawal of solar 
heat, and for the Atlantic the equatorial ocean. . The antago- 
nistic conditions of temperature being constantly sustained, 
a constant interchange between polar and equatorial waters, 

. F. GEOGRAPHY. 115 

through the seas of the temperate zone, may be predicted as 
a physical necessity. The reduction in temperature of the 
polar column, the whole of which may be brought down by 
the continued exposure of the surface to atmospheric cold al- 
most to its freezing point, must diminish its height while aug- 
menting its density, and thus the water of the surrounding 
area must flow in to maintain the level thus lowered. But 
when the column has been restored to an equaHty of height^ 
it will possess such an excess of ^(7e^^A^ that its downward 
pressure must force out a portion of its deeper water, and 
thus an outflow of ice-cold water will be occasioned from the 
polar toward the equatorial area, oyer the sea-bed of the 
deepest oceanic basins, while at the same time there will be 
a continual indraught of warmer surface water into the polar 
basin, which can only be supplied by a general poleward 
movement of the upper stratum of the equatorial water. 
These movements will not have the character of currents ; 
for it is only where the communication between the two 
bodies of water takes place through a naiTow strait that dif- 
ferences so inconsiderable can give rise to a perceptible move- 
ment between them. But the movement is not the less real 
when diffused than it is when concentrated ; and the same 
vertical circulation would take place between the two ex- 
tremities, or between the centre and circumference of the 
same continuous basin, under opposite conditions as to heat 
and cold, as would exist if they were connected by a com- 
paratively narrow channel or communication. — ContmipoTa- 
ry Urnew?, 1871. 


Dr. CoUingwood has recently published an interesting ac- 
count of the Sargasso^ Sea of the North Atlantic, one of sev- 
eral immense areas of floating meadows of sea-weed found in 
mid-ocean in diflerent parts of the globe. The one to which 
our author refers is that which occupies the greater portion 
of that breadth of the Atlantic Ocean between the coast of 
Africa and the region of the West Indies, from 20° to about 
65° of west longitude, and from the parallel of 20° to that of 
45°. This area is compared to that of the Mississippi Val- 
ley ; and this immense bed of floating sea-weed was at one 
time supposed to be derived from plants originally attached 


to the bottom, and subsequently torn off by some severe 
storm ; but it is now understood that the plants composing 
it increase by rapid growth, although in this condition they 
never produce either roots or fruit. It is therefore supposed, 
from their multiplying in this manner, that they are a pecul- 
iar form of one or more species described by botanists, which 
produce fruit only when rooting in the shallower waters, 
and that this growth and development may continue indefi- 
nitely for an immense number of years. 

This meadow of sea-weed is remarkable not only for the 
immense extent of vegetation, but for the great variety of 
animal life abounding in its midst. Innumerable species of 
Crustacea, many annelids, mollusca, polyzoa, polyps, and fish- 
es are found in it. Investigations of patches of the weed al- 
ways furnish a fruitful field of research to naturalists. It is 
mentioned as an interesting circumstance that all the animals 
found harboring in the Sargasso sea-weed are of the same 
general tint as that of the weed itself, assimilating themselves 
so closely that it is sometimes difiicult to distinguish them 
at first sight. It is not at all improbable that, in view of 
the immense amount of minute animal life in these locali- 
ties, many of our wandering fishes, such as various species of 
mackerel, etc., find in such places those breeding regions that ' 
we have hitherto sought for in vain. 

The position of the Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic, as well as 
similar patches in other oceans, is believed to be determined 
by the course of the greater oceanic currents, as it occupies 
the eddy formed by the northern drift of the Gulf Stream 
toward the west, and its southward branch, which is deflected 
from the Banks of Newfoundland, and extends to the south, 
by the way of the Azores, along the coast of Africa. 
. Another tract of the Sargasso Sea is found in the Pacific, 
off the coast of Lower California ; and still another extends 
along in the antarctic waters from Australia to the Falkland 
Islands. — 9 -4, October^ 1870, 383. 


Dr. Petermann, in a late article on the opening up of a por- 
tion of the northern Polar Sea by the voyages and observa- 
tions of sundry Norwegian navigators in 1870, states that 
the most important result of these expeditions consists in 


their showing a complete melting of the ice in the whole of 
the Sea of Kara, and that the few floating cakes of winter ice 
remaining in. midsummer do not at all affect the navigabil- 
ity, nor the successful pursuits of hunting and fishing. Sev- 
eral maps accompanying the memoirs show the precise con- 
dition of the temperature and other physical features of the 
Kara Sea during the different months throughout the year. 
— 1 1 (7, November^ 1870, 105. . 


Von Heuglin, the well-known explorer in Africa, has lately 
been turning his attention to Arctic researches, and in the 
summer of 1870, in company with Count Zeil, left Hamburg 
on the 13th of June, and Tromso, in Norway, on the 3d of 
July, for the purpose of examining the unknown region of 
Eastern Spitzbergen. With a small boat of only thirty-one 
tons, and manned by seven Norwegian sailors, they reached . 
the easteiTL coast of Spitzbergen, determined the position of 
Gillis Land, and extended greatly our knowledge of the re- 
gion from 77° to 79° north latitude. They passed through 
the Walter Thymer Straits, which were at one time supposed 
to be impassable, and made collections of various kinds, in- 
cluding rocks and fossils, among which was a saurian eight- 
een feet in length. — 17 (7, 1870, 306. 



Preparations continue to be made on the part of the Rus-. 
sian government, assisted by its scientific men, for the gfeat 
polar expeditions of 1872 and 1873. Among the points to 
which special attention is to be directed are, first, in the re- 
gioli to the west of Nova Zembla, the determination of the 
cold and warm currents between the Murmanian coast and 
Nova Zembla ; second, to decide the southern limit of the 
polar ice, and to take measurements of the deep seas ; third, 
to ascertain the extension of the Gulf Stream, and what be- . 
comes of it when it meets the. polar, ice; fourth, to learn es- 
pecially the distribution of the Gulf Stream along the coast 
of Nova. Zembla; fifth, to fix accurately the extension of cer- 
tain parts, of the coast of.Northwestem Nova Zembla. To 
the east and northeast the points to be inquired into are, first, 
the expansion of the Kara Sea, and all that portion of the sea 


nearest to it on the east ; second, to penetrate northeasterly 
to the limit of the polar ice ; third, at least to make an effort 
to get as. far as possible to, the east, and to explore the re- 
gions along the mouths of the Siberian rivers ; fourth, to 
make accurate geographic determinations along the least- 
known portions of the Siberian coast; fifth, to prosecute stud- 
ies in regard to the hunting ventures of the Norwegians and 
Russians in Nova Zembla. These two regions of country 
will be intrusted to two different sailing vessels respectively, 
each provided with a competent commander, a specialist in 
physical geography, and a zoologist. The experience gained 
by these expeditions during 1872 is to be utilized still further 
in a much more extended and more completely equipped ex* 
ploi'ation in 1873, in which the same persons will take part. 
—3 (7, 5^«em5er 26, 1871, 934. 

Rosenthal's exploring expedition. 

In a lately published number of the MittheUungen Dr. Pe- 
termann gives an account of the exploring expedition of Ro- 
senthal, of Bremen, into the Siberian Arctic Sea. This gen- 
tleman has been distinguished for some years past by his zeal 
in prosecuting a trading business in the high north, and for 
the extent to which he has connected with this inquiries into 
the natural history and physics of that region. The results 
obtained in Spitzbergen Tjy Dr. Bessels in the voyage of one 
of his vessels (the Albert) are well known. During the past 
year he sent out the Bienenkorb, manned by Norwegian sail- 
ors, and under the command of the Norwegian Captain Mel- 
sam, to prosecute the seal fishery in the north, an experiment 
attended with such success that, after a short absence, the 
vessel returned with 6500 seals. During the present y^ar 
Hen* Rosenthal chartered the Germania, the well-known Ger- 
man exploring ship, and has sent her out, under the command 
of Captain Melsam and his party, accompanied by Messrs. 
. Von Heuglin and Aagard, with an outfit and provisions for 
fifteen months, and all the necessary astronomical and phys- 
ical apparatus. The vessel is to proceed direct to Nova Zem- 
bla, passing the Straits of Matotschkin into the Kara Sea, so 
as to reach the mouth of the Obi, and there to establish a 
harbor and refuge for heavy weather. From this point op- 
erations are to be carried on as far as possible toward the 


nortbeaat, so as to reach the northernmost cape of Asia, as 
well as the islands of New Siberia. In returning, the most 
noi*them portions of the main land of Asia are to be visited, 
and as many landings made as possible, especially near the 
months of the Obi and Jenesei. Physical observations are 
• to be made on an extended scale, and large collections of ob- 
jects of natural history gathered. Even should only a por- 
tion of this plan be carried out, such as the exploration of 
the region about the mouths of the Obi and Jenesei, much 
will have been accomplished, but it is not improbable that 
the entire programme will be completed. 

The expedition left Bremep on the 26 th of June, and pro- 
ceeded first to Tonsberg, and then to Tromso, from which 
point the latest advices, dated July 21, were transmitted. 
The expedition was to continue its voyage on the 23d of 
July, since which time no letters have been received. — 17 (7, 


We are in receipt of a circular letter from Dr. Petermann, 
the eminent geographer of Gotha, containing more detailed 
information in regard to the polar discoveries lately referred 
to by the daily papers in the form of a brief telegram. It 
will be remembered that in recent articles we have given an 
account, among other arctic expeditions, of one under the di- 
rection oFMessrs. Payer and Weyprecht, on the vessel called 
the Ice Bear, which sailed from Tromso, in Norway, during 
the past summer^ The expedition returned to Tromso on the 
3d of October, and dispatched a telegram to Dr. Petermann, 
stating that in September they had found an open polar sea 
between 42° and 60° east longitude from Greenwich, and that 
they had followed this as far as the 79th degree of north lat- 
itude and 43d of east longitude. Without giving any reason 
for not proceeding farther, they state that their route was 
probably much the most favorable one for reaching the pole, 
connecting, as they imagined it to do, with the open polar 
sea north of Siberia, and toward the east. 

An unintelligible portion of the dispatch of these gentle- 
men was supposed to intimate that King Charles Land, east 
of Spitzbergen and near Gillis Land, extended south to 77° 
12'. Br. Petermann considers this information as of the ut- 



most importance, especially in view of the fact that reports 
from all the other polar expeditions of the present year indi- 
cate a very unfavorable state of the ice. Full accounts of 
these other expeditions will be published in a forthcoming 
number of the MittheUungen, 

Dr. Petermann thinks the favorable condition of the ice for . 
navigation in these seas is caused by the action of the Gulf 
Stream ; and he refere to his map of 1870 (lately reproduced 
by the United States Hydrographic Bureau, under Captain 
Wyman), in which he lays down the Gulf Stream, between 
75° and 76°, as having a temperature, according to Dr. Bes- 
sels, of over 41°; while an arrow, inserted there to indicate 
the direction of the stream, points exactly to the 79th degree 
of north latitude and 49th of east longitude. — Circular of 
Dr. Petermann^ October 10, 1 871. 


We have already made brief mention of the important an- 
nouncement received from Messrs. Payer and Weyprecht, da- 
ted at Tromso, of the discovery of open^ water between Spitz- 
bergen and Nova Zembla, In a; region before this believed to 
be occupied entirely by ice, and have now the pleasure of 
furnishing some additional details received from these gentle- 
men by letter. Their report is addressed to the Association 
for Geography and Statistics at Frankfort, and is dated at 
Tromso on the 19th of October. Postponing a more full ac- 
count of their general adventures to a later period, they pro- 
ceed at once to the announcement that in the space between 
Spitzbergen and Nova Zembla, which had previously been 
supposed inaccessible (and which, indeed, the Russian, Ger- 
man, and Swedish expedition in 1868 had attempted to pen- 
etrate without success), they entered a region almost entire- 
ly free from any obstacles, and in which they reached a lati- 
tude of 79 degrees without any apparent impediment to their 
proceeding almost, if not quite, to the pole. As, however, the 
Ice-Bear was merely a sailing vessel, and their provisions 
were running low, they dared not venture any farther, and 
accordingly returned. • 

They anticipate complete success, therefore, should the 
great expedition, which is to be prosecuted next year, follow 
in their course ; and they remark that the key to the appa- 



rent failare of explorations in this region is to be found in 
the fact of their starting too early in the summer, and not re< 
maining long enough in the autumn. They think that the 
Gulf Stream, the current of which is clearly indicated, toward 
the close of the summer breaks down the barrier of ice, and 
clears a way into the open polar sea beyond. 

The fact of their having been in the path of the Gulf 
Stream they consider well established by the temperature of 
the water (exceeding by from- three to five degrees C. that 
of thQ air), the frequency of clouds and the abundance of fog 
and rainbows, the decided current to the northeast, the ultra- 
marine blue of the water, so characteristic of the Gulf Stream, 
the extraordinary richness in lower animals, etc. 

In the beginning of autumn tl^ey infer that the Gulf Stream 
leaves the coast of Nova Zembla and passes farther to the 
west, or that it then expands so as to cover a greater area. 
Another important result of their examinations was the dis- 
covery of an enormous abundance of whales in the open sea 
— a fact which will doubtless induce our American whalers 
seriously to consider the propriety of endeavoring to secure 
the reward which is likely to crown the efforts of those who 
may enter this new Polynia at the proper season. 

During the expedition of the Ice-Bear a continued series 
of observations was taken upon the temperature, the density 
of the water at the surface and at various depths, the occur- 
rence of drift-wood, the currents, deep-sea soundings, etc. 
Many, objects of interest were taken from the bottom, and 
many valuable geological observations made. — Circalar of 
Geographical Society of Frankfort, 
• ■ • • » ' 


In a report of a zoological exploration made in the White 
Sea and on the Murmanian coast in Lapland by Jarschinski 
in 1869, lately published by Dr. Petermann, attention is called 
to the fact that while in the tropical seas the highest devel- 
opment of animal life is found near the surface, and diminish- 
es with increasing depth, a precisely opposite state of things 
is met with in the arcJtic seas. Thus, in the shallow portion 
of the White Sea, animal life was extremely scanty, and it 
was only in the deep bay of Condelac that an abundance was 
met with. The same condition of things was found in a por- 



tion of the Polar Sea, where, in the shallow bays of the Mur- 
manian coast, there was a comparatively poor fauna, while at 
a greater depth-^namely, from 80 to 200 fathoms — the vari- 
ety was unexpectedly large. 

All the large and more highly developed forms occurred at 
great depths, certain echini, crabs, and sea spiders acquiring 
comparatively colossal dimensions. Among the latter was a 
species of pycnogonid which measured ten inches between 
the tips of the outstretched arms. In &ct, it was found that 
the Polar Sea, along the Murmanian coast, was richer in ani- 
mal life than any other part of the maritime portion of Euro- 
pean Russia. 

The close relationship of the animals of this region with 
those of the Atlantic Ocean is believed to be a further proof 
of the existence of a branch of the Gulf Stlream on this coast, 
and thus to substantiate the views of Pete.rmann of the great 
extent of this stream, as opposed to the ideas of Findlay, 
who denies that the Gulf Stream proper has power enough 
to reach the European coast or exercise any influence upon 
its climate, believing it to be completely destroyed near New- 
foundland by. the southwest polar current, and not to be 
traceable any farther. — 17 (7, -December, 1870, 452. 


From the detailed report by Von Heuglin of his late expe- 
dition, recently published by Petermann, we learn that the 
north coast of Nova Zembla is erroneously laid down on the 
maps, especially the northeastern cape, which should be 
placed at a latitude of 77° 8', and a longitude of 71° east.- 
He was surprised to find a temperature of 41° Fahr. in the 
Matotshkin Strait, which cuts through Nova Zembla, and a 
still higher degree eastward, in ^the Kara Sea. The latter 
fact is ascribed to the temperature of the fresh-water currents 
streaming forth from the mouths of the Obi and Yenisei, 
which were met with as far out as the latitude of 76°. An 
abundance of the glass balls 'used by the Norwegians for the 
floats of nets, etc., was found on the northwest coast of Nova 
Zembla, which had undoubtedly been carried there from the 

Dr. Petermann calls attention to the very trifling cost of 
this expedition of Von Heuglin compared with the impor- 


tant resolts which it accomplished, the total expense amount- 
ing to only about $1000.-17 CyBecemher^ 1870, 449, 



Our readers will remember that the German exploring ex- 
pedition which went out in 1869 for the purpose of arctic 
discovery has lately returned home, the sailing vessel of the 
expedition having been wrecked on the east coast of Green- 
land, her entire crew, however, being saved. The steamer re- 
turned in good condition. Enough of the results of the ex- 
pedition have been published to fumish the means of judg- 
ing, to some extent, of the advantages secured, which are 
thought to be of great interest ; not the least being the ac- 
quisition of a foothold of property in the north,. possession 
having been taken of a previously unoccupied portion of the 
coast of Greenland, extending for about thirty German miles, 
or from latitude 76° to latitude 77°. An apology is made for 
the absence of any considerable amount of actual discovery, 
on account of the excessive rigor of the winds, this being 
very much greater than that experienced in the neighboring 
regions during the previous explorations on the part of En- 
glish vessels. The portion of Greenland explored by this ex- 
pedition is characterized by a very deep fiord, the head of 
which was not reached in a distance of over eighty miles ; 
and it was thought to be not impossible that it extended all 
the way across to the water on the opposite side. 

The most interesting feature of the land, however, was the 
occurrence of extensive meadows, starred with flowers, with 
butterflies and bees playing about them, and having large 
herds grazing near by of reindeer and musk-oxen. The low- 
est temperature experienced was about —58° F., this occur- 
ring on the 21st of February, 1870. The wind was found to 
be of extraordinary severity, Robinson's anemometer indica- 
ting a rate of velocity of sixty-seven miles in the hour, which, • 
it was believed, would render sledging parties entirely im- 
practicable. The auroral light, to the surprise of the behold- 
ers, who expected to see it in the west or southwest, was ac- 
tually in the southeast. 

Among the geological discoveries were beds of brown coal 
and numerous fossil remains. Deep-sea soundings were made, 
and colIeqtionB taken from a depth of 1500 fathoms. One 



important conclusion arrived at by the expedition was that 
small vessels were suited for polar explorsltion, and that it 
would be madness to attempt, as is proposed by the French, 
the use of a thousand-ton ship. Steamers, too, were believed 
to be the only form of vessels suited for research on the east- 
ern coast of Greenland, any thing like reaching the coast in 
a sailing vessel being entirely out of the question. — 3 (7, Octo- 
ber 8^1810^981. 


Lieutenant Payer, well known for his geological investiga- 
tions in the Alps, has lately communicated some facts in re- 
gard to discoveries in Greenland by the late German expe- 
dition, of which he was a member, and in this he calls at- 
tention especially to the probability of the hypothesis that 
Greenland is essentially a congeries of islands similar to that 
west of it, and not a huge continental mass, as has been sup- 
posed by most authors. One strong evidence of this he con- 
sidei*s to be furnished by the deep inlet discovered by the ex- 
pedition, previously unrecorded on any chart, and which re- 
ceived the name of Emperor Francis Joseph's Fiord. This 
was found to extend deep into the interior of the land, con- 
tinually opening into new arms, and widening in places until 
it was traced out for over one third of the estimated breadth 
of Greenland, and without any indication of coming to an 
end. Indeed, in a southwesterly direction it opened out into 
what looked like a great basin into which the fiord itself emp- 
tied. The circumstance also that the saltness of the fiords is 
generally greatly diminished by the fresh-water streams pour- 
ing into them when they are simply cul de sacs, and the fact 
that the great Greenland fiord, notwithstanding the enor- 
mous addition of fresh water, retained all its saltness, point- 
ed to a maritime communication with the opposite side of 
• the country. 

Time was not allowed to the party to prosecute the explo- 
ration of this supposed strait ; but it is believed, as stated, 
that it finds its opposite opening in Baffin's Bay. Another 
still more potent argument in favor of the assumption that* 
Greenland is a congeries of islands, and not a continent, was 
found in the apparent absence of great longitudinal valleys, 
such as usually characterize continents, these being entii*ely 


wanting in the northeastern part of Greenland,— 3 (7, 1 870, 


Dr. Bessels, the director of the scientific corps of Captain 
Hall's steamer Polaris, in a letter addressed to the president 
of the National Academy of Sciences, dated Godhaven, Au- 
gust 16, states that he had already made some important ob- 
servations in regard to the physics of the northern seas, such 
as a peculiar coloration of the water and an unexpectedly 
high specific gravity, the maximum of density noticed being 
1.028. His experiences with his colleagues, Mr. Bryan, the 
astronomer, and Mr. Meyer, the meteorologist, have been very 
satisfactory ; the former gentleman having made a number 
of successful azimuth. observations, and the latter approving 
himself an excellent mathematician and an accomplished ob- 
server, and an honor to the Signal Service, from which he 
was detailed for duty with Captain Hall. This information 
may perhaps serve in some measure to relieve the apprehen- 
sions expressed by Dr. David Walker, in his Overland Month- 
ly article on Captain Hall's expedition, in regard to the sci- 
entific results of the voyage. — LeUer from Dr. Bessels^ Aifr 
gust 16^1811. 


The daily papers have lately referred in brief terms to the 
recent capture of a whale in the Arctic Ocean with a har- 
poon imbedded in its flesh that must have been implanted in 
Davis's Straits. From a Honolulu paper we learn that the 
whale in question was taken by the ship Cornelius Howland, 
off Point Barrow, the northernmost cape of Alaska and of 
the main land of North America. The harpoon was marked 
"A. G.," referring, as was supposed, to the ship Ansel Gibbs, 
of New Bedford, which has been engaged for ten or twelve 
years in the whale fishery at Cumberland Inlet, in Davis's 
Straits. Cases have before occurred of whales being captured 
at Cumberland Inlet with harpoons in them that must have 
been inserted in the Arctic Ocean, but this is said to be the 
first instance authenticated in which the movement of the 
whale was in the opposite direction. Although geographical 
exploration has already proved the existence of a connection 


by water between the eastern and western sides of America, 
these occurrences tend to furnish an interesting corrobora- 
tion of the fact. — Nem Bedford Mercury. 


According to Professor Airy, the Gesoriacum of the histo- 
rians of the Roman Empire is not the modem Boulogne-sur- 
Mer, as has generally been .supposed. On the contrary, he 
thinks that Dunkirk has the best claim to identification with 
the place in question. — 15 A^ November 12, 1870,625. 


As a result of some recent deep-sea explorations in the 
Adriatic, Dr. Schmid announces that at depths of from 50 to 
630 fathoms he found but little trace of animal life, excepting 
the foraminifera, a fact which he attributes to the absence of 
the great natural currents, to which the variety of animal life 
in the <lepths of the Atlantic appears to be due. Of BaJthyh- 
iu8^ however, as Professor Huxley calls a peculiar amorphous 
animal matter found at great depths, an enormous quantity 
was brought up by every cast of the net below fifty fathoms. 
These are always accompanied by coccoliths, one of the con- 
stituents of the ancient chalk. — 13 A^ August 13, 293. 


Captain Sherrard Osborne, well known as an arctic explor- 
er, has lately presented a communication to the Royal Geo- 
graphical Society of London in reference to the Atlantic sea- 
bed. In this paper he states that the bottom of the North 
Atlantic is occupied by two valleys, the eastern •extending 
from ten to thirty degrees west longitude, and traceable as 
far as the equator, with an extreme depth of le^s than 13,000 
feet. The western valley reaches from the thirtieth to the 
fiftieth degree of west longitude ; and the two are separated 
by a ridge in thirty degrees west longitude, along which the 
average depth is only 1600 fathoms, and which can be traced 
northward to Iceland and southward to the Azores, so that 
it is volcanic in chai*acter at both extremities. Its extreme 
breadth is somewhat less than 600 miles, and the depth of 
the water increases on both sides of it according to the dis- 
tance from the axis. 

F. GEOaBAPHY. 127 

From Captain Osborne's researches in regard to deep-sea 
beds. generally, he is inclined to believe that there are no 
rough ridges, abrupt chasms, nor bare rock, and that the sea 
bottom at great depths is not affected by currents or streams, 
even by those of the magnitude of the Gulf Stream, and that 
it rather resembles the American prairies in general appear- 
ance, and is every where covered by a kind of mud. — 12-4, 
J)ec€mber 15yld3, 


The region bordering upon the Black Sea has long been 
known to be full of antiquarian treasures of the highest in- 
terest, as evinced by the superb reports published from time 
to time at the expense of the Russian government. A late 
exploration of the peninsula of Toman, situated between the 
Blacl^ Sea and the Sea of Azov, in. continuation of previous 
researches, has brought to light many striking objects, par- 
ticularly of those belonging to a past period of Greek art, 
and consisting of gold ornaments, sarcophagi, terra-cotta stat- 
uettes, etc. — 13 A^ January 15, 1871, 91. 


Mr. Gwyn Jeffries, in a communication to the British Asso- 
ciation relative to the deep-sea exploring expedition of the 
Porcupine in the Bay of Biscay and along the Atlantic coast 
of Spain and Portugal in the year 1869, stated that at depths 
of about a thousand fathoms many species of moUusca were 
found in a living state, some of which had been previously 
regarded as fossil- and extinct, and all of them occurring in 
the newer tertiaries of Sicily and Calabria, and he thought 
that a record of the fact might lead to the further discovery 
of the geological phenomena which had caused the fossiliza- 
tion of so m^ny species in that limited area. Some of theni 
inhabit northern, and even arctic seas. The author suggests 
whether, iji view, of the wide distribution of many of the spe- 
cies of thjB deep-sea forms of European mollusca) they did not 
originate in the north, and spread southward in consequence 
of the great arcjtic current. He also inquires whether, since 
• the pliocene division of the tertiary formation is found to 
contain eqarcely any extinct species, and, in fact, the percent- 
age being likely to be reduced to nothing by further explor- 


ers, that artificial division should not disappear entirely, and 
be merged in the quaternary, and the tertiaries be restricted 
to the eocene, miocene, and oligocene. 

In the course of a subsequent communication, Mr. Jeffries 
described a living Pentacrinus obtained on the same cruise. 
The base of this was free, although imbedded in the mud. 
The animal is interesting, as being the first and only instance 
of a European species of this genus, which forms so impor- 
tant a link in the geological chain, and connects the mezoraic 
period with the present epoch. 


The German surveying ship Pommerania returned from her 
cruise in the Baltic in August last, having been occupied dur- 
ing the summer in making soundings of the sea bottom, in 
dredging, and in noting the temperature of the water at dif- 
ferent depths. The greatest depth between Gothland and 
Windau was found to be Ir20 feet, being less than previously 
estimated. At a depth of from 600 to 720 feet, at the latter 
end of July, the temperature was only 33° to 36.5° Fahren- 
heit. No marine plants were met with in this cold area, and 
only a few annelids were dredged up; Life was very abun- 
dant to the depth of about 300 feet, while plants were sel- 
dom found at a depth of more than 30 feet. — 12 -4, Septem- 
ber 21,1811,411. 



Few geographical researches of modem times have been 
more interesting than those carried on in Madagascar by 
M. A. Grandidier, whether we consider our previous ignorance 
of the region in question or the number of striking and im- 
portant scientific novelties brought to light. We have al- 
ready referred to the return of this gentleman from his third 
expedition, the .first having been commenced in 1865. On 
this occasion he attempted to reach the heart of the island, 
but in vain ; and in the following year he explored the south- 
ern region, but did not reach the mountains. In 1869-70, 
however, he traversed the entire length' of the island three 
times, from west to east, through its whole extent, making 
various lateral excursions to interesting points, and visiting 
the peak of the mountain Ankaararatre, the highest summit 



* F. GEOGRAPHY. 129 

in Madagascar. According to the report just presented by 
M. Grandidier to the Academy of Sciences of Paris, Madagas- 
car comprises two distinct regions — the northern, which is 
mountainous, and that to the south and east, which is flat. 
He ascertained that there are five chains of mountains, which 
have generally the same direction; — namely,.from northeast 
to southwest. These aVe separated by sandy and arid plains, 
intersected by shallow ravines. After crossing the fourth 
chain a region is reached of which the general level is from 
1000 to 1200 metres in height, extending to the Indian Ocean, 
a vast sea of mountains, with no level lands except a few 
small valleys used for the cultivation of rice. 

The eastern coast is intersected at almost every step with 
rivers and torrents, and the northwestern provinces pour into 
the sear a large number of important rivers. On the south- 
em and western regibns, however, the case is quite different, 
there being distances of fifty leagues without the smallest 
brook. T^^e' reputation possessed by Madagascar for luxu- 
riant vegetation and fertile soil, according to M. Grandidier, 
ife by no means merited, its provinces being neither rich nor 
productive. The secondary plains are sterile, and the popula- 
tion is confined to the immediate banks of the water-courses. 
The entire mass of the granitic mountains situated to the 
west of the eastern slope is naked and arid, and there is no 
vegetation excepting here and there little bunches growing 
in the ravines. In the opposite direction, however, there is 
some degree of fertility; and there is a line of forests extend- 
ing from north to south, which connect with those of the 
west, forming around the island a narrow girdle, including a 
dry and desert region in its centre. 

M. Grandidier made numerous astronomical,*meteorologic- 
al, and magnetical observations. He also closely studied the 
ethnology of the inhabitants, having taken a great many 
measurements upon the living body, and having collected 
notfes of the habits, language, and traditions of the people. 
His natural history collections embrace over fifty new species 
of vertebrates, together with numerous insects and plants. 
Large numbera of alcoholic specimens were also gathered, 
for the purpose of farther investigation into the anatomy and 
structure of the entire animal. — 3 j5, xx., September 14, 1871, 

F 2 



Researches in South Africa by Mr. Bayne, prosecuted for 
the last two or three years, are considered as adding an im- 
portant chapter to the history of the interior of that conti- 
nent. The survey was extended over the gold-yielding coun- 
try lying between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers, the far- 
thest point north reached being 17*^ 30^ south latitude, the 
distance from the Zambezi at one time being only 120 miles. 
On this line Mr. Bayne met with the upper part of a number 
of streams, flowing on the one side into the Zambesi, and on 
the other into the Indian Ocean, the high lands forming the 
water-shed of this part of Africa. 


Several foreign journals have much to €ay of the recent dis- 
coveries made by Dr. Schweinfurth in Central Africa, as first 
published in Petermann's MittheUungen, The* country ex- 
amined by this gentleman lies to the northwest of the great 
equatorial lakes, and his labors have tended to define the 
limit's of the Nile Valley in the direction of the equator, to 
which he has approached more nearly than any other travel- 
er. His lettei-s contain very interesting accounts of adven- 
tures among the. Niam-Niams, a race of very peculiar and re- 
markable character. After crossing the water-shed of the 
Nile he met with another and totally different people, distin- 
guished by the lighter color of their skin, and their blonde 
and frizzled hair, as compared with the brown-colored skin 
and long, silky l^air of the Niam-Niams. They also possess 
the unpleasant peculiarity of cannibalism to a greater degree 
than is believed to exist among any other people on the face 
of the globe at the present time. — \ZA^ January 15, 1871, 96* 


During the summer of 1870 two important expeditions 
were engaged in prosecuting researches into the natural his- 
tory and geology of the Rocky Mountains, and as these have 
now returned to the East, we have been enabled to gather 
some facts in regard to them which may be of interest. 

An appropriation having been made by Congress for the 
purpose of continuing geological explorations commenced 


several years ago by Dr. Hayden, under the direction of the 
Interior Department, a party was fitted out by him at Chey- 
enne, about the middl^.of July, which included a scientific 
corps often persons, together with nine other employ6s. Pro- 
vided with proper authority^ from the War Department to 
obtain assistanceintbo; way of supplies and transportation, 
it left the point mentioned about the 6th of August, and as 
the work of the previous year had been southward along the 
eastern flanks of the Rocky Mountains to Santa Fe,. the pres- 
ent expedition was arranged to move northward along the 
same range, so as to obtain as extensive a section of the moun- 
tains as possible. 

Leaving Cheyenne as stated, the paity proceeded along 
the eastern base of the Laramie Range, by way of Ch6g Wa- 
ter Creek, Laramie Peak, North Platte, Sweet Water, and 
South Pass, to the Wind Riyer Mountains ; then down the 
Big and Little Sandy creeks to Green: River, and thence to 
Fort Bridger. Here they remained for about twenty days, 
in,akitfg explorations in the vicinity. From Fort Bridger they 
then went so'uthward to Henry's Fork, and ascending its val- 
ley to Green River and Brown's Hole, returned up the river 
to the Union Pacific: Railroad, and thence by way of Bridg- 
er's Pass, Medicine Bow. Mountain, and Laramie Plains, and 
through the Laramie Hills, by way of Cheyenne Pass, back 
to the original point of departure, which was reached about 
the 1st of November. Eitensive collections were made in 
all branches of natural history and geology, and ntimerous 
sections, photographic views, sketches, and notes taken, from 
which to prepare the geological history of the country. It 
is understood that Dr. Hayden's report is well advanced, and 
will probably be printed in the course of a few months. 

The expedition of Prpfessoi* Marsh, although a private one, 
and instituted especially in the interest of the museum of 
Yale College, was also of great magnitude, and thoroughly 
equipp^ for accomplishing its desired object. His party con- 
sisted of twelve companions, principally students or recent 
graduates of Yale, and left New Haven on the last of June, 
proceeding directly to Fort M'Pherson, on the line of the 
Union Pacific Railroad. From Fort M'Phei-son, escorted by 
a company of the Fifth Cavalry, under Lieutenant Riley, an 
exploration was first made along the Loup Fork and Niobra- 


ra, where rich collections rewarded their efforts. Returning 
from this excursion, they proceeded early in August to Fort 
D. A. Russell, near Cheyenne, and from that point made a 
trip, accompanied by a detachment of the Fifth Cavalry, un- 
der Captain Montgomery, into Northern Colorado, and thence 
to Antelope Station, where extensive collections were made. 
From this point they moved to the north branch of the Platte 
River, near Chimney Rock, and again returned to Fort Rus- 
sell by way of Horse Creek. Continuing their labors, they 
started westward to Fort Bridger, with an escort from the 
Thirteenth Infantry, and examined the eastern Uintah Moun- 
tains, and" the region along the Green and White rivers, and 
other main tributaries of the Colorado, and after an absence 
of about eight weeks returned to Fort Bridger. 

Thence a portion of the party went to California, and visit- 
ed the Yosemite Yalley, while others proceeded to Denver in 
November, and then to Fort Wallace, in Kansas, where their 
explorations for the season were concluded. The amount of 
material brought in by both these parties, the movements of 
which overlapped each other to a certain extent, may be con- 
sidered as the most important and valuable ever made in a 
single season in the United States ; and as they will be sub- 
mitted to the most accomplished specialists in the United 
States for investigation, we may look with confidence to the 
final reports of the results as likely to clear up a great deal 
that is at present perplexing and obscure' in the geology and 
natural'history of the country, 


It may be remembered by some of our readers that Con- 
gress, at its last session, made an appropriation of $12,000 for 
completing the survey of the Colorado of the West, under 
Professor Powell. A proposition is now before that body 
for an additional appropriation of $12,000 to enable the pro- 
fessor to undertake and complete a topographical and geo- 
logical survey of the valley of the Green River. As the 
equipment now on hand, and used in the surveys of the Colo- 
rado, will answer for the work on the Green River, and as 
this last-mentioned valley must be traversed before the labors 
on the Colorado can be finished, it is urged that the work can 
be accomplished at a much less cost than that of the original 


undertaking. The appropriation is commended by the Sec- 
retary of the Interior to the favorable consideration of Con- 

T*he professor has returaed from the West for the purpose 
of .building boats to be used in the lateral canons of the Colo- 
rado. He has been quite, successful in finding passes into the 
Grand Ca£ion by which supplies can be taken to the riven 
Thus he will be able to continue his work to completion even 
though he should meet with a loss of rations at any time, as 
he did on Ms first trip through the canons, for now he can get 
fresh supplies through these passes. After he had completed 
the exploration of these canon passes be crossed Northern 
Arizona to New Mexico, and on the way visited the " Seven 
Ancient Cities," and spent several weeks with their interest- 
ing people, making vocabularies of their language; collecting 
their implements, utensils, etc., and studying their mytholo- 
gy, religion, habits, customs, etc. 

The4)rofessor found that their religion was elaborately sys- 
tematized, and that they used sacred paintings, or picture- 
writing, in their worship. His discoveries among this rem- 
nant of a once great nation will be of interest to thofee who 
have made a study of the aboriginal races of the continent. 

In March or April he will rejoin his party left in the field, 
shipping his boats by the Pacific Railroad. 


Among the. explorations of the past season in the interest 
of natural history, one of the most important and productive 
in its results was that of Professor E.I).Cope, of Philadelphia, 
well known for his inde^tigable researches in regard to the 
recent and fossil vertebrates of America. The field of his la- 
bors was mainly in the valley of the Smoky Hill Fork of the 
Republican River, in Kansas, where, under the protection of 
an escort of seventyrfive infantry, commanded by Captain 
Butler, and detailed by 'order of General Pope, he spent sev- 
enteen, days in the diligent prosecution .of his labors. As is 
well known to American paiseontologists, this region is one 
of the richest in the world in fossil remains of reptiles and 
fishes. Of these a large number of specimens were obtained 
by Professor Cope, many of extraordinary magnitude, iand 
some of them entirely hew to science. More or less complete 


series were obtained of the bones of animals previously known 
only by ^ few fragments, thus supplying much better infor- 
mation as to their affinities and position in thfe system. iNear- 
ly the entire skeleton of a large fish, provided with teeth of 
immense power, was exhumed. This animal is to bear the 
name ofPorthetes molosms/ and its remains occurred ia such 
abundance as to demonstrate that it must have been a chai^ 
acteristic and very formidable inhabitant of the cretaceous 

Another discovery was that of a reptilian form related to 
or intermediate between the tortoises and serpents. The ribs 
of this animal were long and attenuated, but, instead of be- 
ing united in the carapace, as in the tortoise, remained sepa- 
rate, possibly united by membrane. If built at all on the 
chelonian patteiii, the expanse would have been at least twen- 
ty feet. This is to be cMed I^otostega gigas. 

During his explorations in 1 870 Professor Marsh ascertained 
the existence of a species of pterodactyl, or flying lizard, in 
the cretaceous strata of the West, and additional specimens 
of the same or another species were found by Professor Cope 
during the expedition just referred to. The most gigantic 
reptiles met with by him this year were species oi Liodon^ 
Polycdtylus^ and ^Jlasmoaavrua. Of these, lAodon was found 
most abundantly, and one specimen will probably prove to 
be the largest of all known reptiles. Slasmosaurua had the 
most massive body, aifd must have presented an extraordi- 
uaiy appearance, in consequence of the great length of its 



For many years past the terra incognita of the United 
States has been the region forming the head waters of the 
Yellowstone River, to the north of the Wind River Moun- 
tains. •Traditions have prevailed for a long time of the ex- 
istence there of a large lake, and of bailing springs and spout- 
ing fountains, of terrific waterfalls, and other wonderful works 
of nature. Trappers have looked into the mysterious region 
from the summits of the neighboring mountains, but did not 
dare any nearer approach, owing to the physical obstacles 
and the fear of Indians. Colonel Raynolds, in his last ex^ 
pedition into the Upper. Missouri region, in which he wasac- 


compaDied by Dr. Hayden as geologist, aimed to reach the lo- 
cality referred to, bujfc was prevented by* deep snows and oth- 
er impediments. We now learn from a Montano journal that 
a party of bold explorers fix>m Helena, fourteen in number, un* 
der the lead. of General H. D. Washburne, have at last solved 
the interesting problem, having visited the country, and re- 
turned, after an absence of six weeks, with a report of their 
discoveries. They left on the 1 7th of August, and, proceeding 
to Fort Ellis, were there joined by an escort of five soldiere. 
Leaving thifS fort on the 22d of the month, they continued 
their route through Bozeman's Pass, and after a short time 
reached the fall of the Yellowstone. Up this stream they 
advanced for several days, until they arrived at this Great 
Fall on Cascade Creek. This was found to be upward of 
350 feet in height, and of great magnificence, its swift waters 
flowing through a canon in some places 2000 feet in depth. 

Still ftrther up the river they came to a region abounding 
in hot sulphur and mud springs, the heated vapdrs steaming 
forth perpetually through the openings in the soil. 

Leaving the falls, and proceeding up the river, they met 
with another remarkable series of springs and mud volcanoes. 
On one hill they found a large spring, filled with boiling wa- 
ter, gushing up in a basin formed of pure, solid brimstone. 
Around this were other springs of different characters, while 
sulphur occurred in inexhaustible abundance. A series of 
springs was seen in which the mud was constantly bubbling 
up in a kind of thick mush, one of them forming a volcano^ 
from which the mud was ejected to a great height. 

The most remarkable discovery of the party, however, was 
that of a valley abounding in geysers of enormous dimen- 
sions, the largest throwing a solid column of water from 150 
to 250 feet in height. There were a dozen of large size, while 
the smaller ones were almost innumerable. As usual in these 
hot springs, the borders were constituted by a hardened de- 
posit from the water of a silicious character and of great 
beauty, looking as if carved out by the art of the sculptor. 

In the course of the expedition, a lake of steaming hot wa- 
ter was found 450 yards in diameter, resting in a basin which 
had been built up by its own ovei'flow to a height of 50 feet. 
The ultimate destination of the party — namely, the Yellow- 
stone Lake — ^was ascertained to be a body of water about 22 


miles in length and 15 miles in width, and at a level above 
the se^ (as shown by the barometer) of About 8.000 feet. 

The length of time which the party was able to spend in 
this region of wonder* was too limited to determine whether 
still greater marvels might not exist in the neighborhood, 
and we presume it will not be long before a thorongh explo* 
ration of the whole region will be made, and all its hidden 
curiosities brought to light. — JSdena Herald, Sept. 29, 1871. 


In the preceding article we give an account of explorations 
in the region about the head waters of the Yellowstone in 
1870, and we have liow to record the renewal of this enter- 
prise, on a tnuch larger scale, by Dr. Hayden, in 1871. At 
the head of a large party, this eminent geologist took the 
field early in the summer, and after examining an interme- 
diate portion of the Rocky Mountain region, started for Yel- 
lowstone Lake by way of Fort Ellis and Botteler's Ranch. 

After establishing a dep6t of supplies on the Yellorwstone 
River, about 140 miles below the lake, the party ascended the 
river, and reached the lake on the 26th of July, where they 
made a new camp. They then began at once to survey the 
lake with the most approved apparatus, by the aid of a boat 
taken along for the purpose, and expected to be able to ascer- 
tain the exact contour as well as the principal depths. They 
had already found several places in the lake where the depth 
reached 300 feet, especially along the line of a certain chan- 
nel-way, and they confidently expected to find soundings of 
at least 600 feet. 

They explored one of the islands in the lake, which they 
called Stevenson's Island, and found it to contain about 1600 
acres, densely wooded, and with thick and almost impene- 
trable underbrush, consisting largely of gooseberry and cur- 
rant bushes, loaded down with ripe fruit. On the threshold 
only of the wonderful natural phenomena in the way of gey- 
sers, boiling springs, etc., described by Lieutenant Doane and 
Governor Langford, they were satisfied that the description 
fell far short of the reality, which they, indeed, despaired of 
being able to portray, even with the aid of photographic 
views and sketches. 

One of these geysers once in 82 hours threw up a column 



of water about 8 feet in diameter to a height of over 200 
feet. Hundreds were met with having columns of from 10 
to 50 feet high, some playing all the time, an& others only at 
intervals. The hottest 'springs were found to vary in tem- 
perature from 188° to 198°; the boiling point at that altitude 
amounting to about 195°. Most of the springs were ascer- 
tained to be divisible into two principal classes, one class con- 
taining silica, sulphur, and iron, and the other silica and iron 

The elevation of the lake was determined to be about 8500 
feet; the altitude of the surrounding peaks being, of couree, 
very much greater. An abundance of trout was found in the 
waters, of excellent flavor, although much infected with in- 
testinal worms. Game was scarce immediately around the 
lake, but at a short distance it was said to be very abundant. 
In addition to the topographical and geological collections, 
others were being made in all branches of natural history, for 
a full account of which, as well as a description of the phe- 
nomena in general, we shall look with interest to the forth- 
coming report of the expedition. — Letter, 


An animated discussion is at present being carried on by 
the newspapers on the Pacific coast as to which state pos- 
sesses the highest mountains ; Mount Shasta, in California, 
with an altitude of 14,440 feet, as determined by Mr. Clar- 
ence King, finding it necessary, according to the Olympia 
papers, to yield the pre-eminence to Mount Rainier, in Wash- 
ington Territory, which Professor Davidson, of the Coast Sur- 
vey, decides to be 14,444 feet high, or four feet more than the 


Some of our readers are familiar with a series of thrilling 
articles now in the course of publication by Mr. Clarence 
King, entitled " Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada," and 
have doubtless sympathized with him in his efforts to deter- 
mine the altitude and physical character of the loftiest peaks 
of the West. 

The scene of his adventures is laid in* that portion of the^ 
Sierra Nevada near the sources of the Kern and King rivers, 


in the southern part of the state^ where some hundreds of 
square miles have a general elevation of 8000 feet, with nu- 
merous peaks rising to a height of from 10,000 to 16,000 feet. 
The loftiest summit in the Sierras is that named Mount Whit- 
ney, by Mr. King, in honor of Professor J. D. Whitney, the 
state geologist of California, and almost the only one the 
summit of which was not reached in the survey of the state. 
Deteimined, however, not to be baffled by this single peak, 
Mr.'King took the opportunity of his renewed research in the 
West during the present summer to make a final essay, and 
with triumphant success, as we learn from a late number of 
the San Francisco Bulletin. 

On the present occasion he started for Mount Whitney from 
the eastern or Nevada side, by O wen^s Lake, and reached the 
summit on the 22d of June. The details of his adventures 
and observations have not yet been announced, although tihey 
may soon be looked for. It is not likely, however, that the 
altitude will be found to be much less than 15,000 feet, and 
may even slightly exceed this. 

Raymond's ekpoet on the tttkon. 

During the summer of 1869, Captain Charles W. Baymond,- 
United States engineers, was ordered by Major General Hal- 
leck to visit the Yukon River, with the special object of map- 
ping out its course, and of determining the latitude and lon- 
gitude of Fort Yukon, a post for many years in the occupa- 
tion of the Hudson Bay Company, but which was believed to 
be within the new territory of Alaska. In pursuance of this 
order he visited that region, accompanied by Mr. John J. Ma- 
jor, well known as a topographer and astronomer, and spent 
a number of months in the work. Owing to having been de- 
tailed to other duty shortly after his return. Captain Ray- 
mond was unable to complete the report of his exploration 
until quite lately. This has, however, been recently sent in 
to Congress, and has just appeared from the press of the pub- 
lic printer. It consists of a general introduction, summing 
up the progress of discovery in Northern Alaska, which is 
followed by an account of the expedition, the resources of the 
country traversed, and a detail of the physical observations. 
The longitude of the fort was determined to be 146° 1,1^ 47", 
*and its latitude 66° 33'' 47^'', or just over the line of the arctic 

p. GEOGRAPHY; 189 

circle. Magnetic observations were made on a. small scale, 
and in a table we find a statement of the absolate magnetic 
declination, the absolate inclination and horizontal intensity, 
and the total intensity at the fort. 


Among other scientific explorations referred to in the " Sci- 
entific Intelligence," as promised daring the past summer, was 
one about to be undertaken in the way of deep-sea dredging 
in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, by Mr. J. F. Whiteaves, in the 
interest of the Natural History Society of Montreal. We 
find in a late number of Nature a report of his labors from 
this gentleman, from which it seems that the investigation 
lasted for a period of five weeks, the first three of which were 
spent on the schooner £a Cmiadienne^ and the remaining two 
on the Stella Maris, The area examined included an entire 
circuit round the island of Anticosti, and extended from Point 
des Monts (on the north shore of the St. Lawrence) to a spot 
about half way between the east end of Anticosti and the 
Bird Rocks. As these investigations were almost necessari- 
ly subordinate to the special duties, on which the schooners 
were engaged,. in several cases the same ground was gone 
over twice. 

. The bottom, at great depths, was found to consist of a 
tough, clayey mud, with occasional large stones on the sur- 
face. Temperature observations do not seem to have been 
made with very precise instruments^ but, as far as ascertained, 
the mud at this depth was about B7° to 38° F. In the deep- 
est part of the river, on the south shore, the temperature was 
a little higher. Sand dredged on the nortl; shore in 25 fath- 
oms also made the mercury sink to 37° or 38°. The princi- 
pal explorations were prosecutiid in a depth of from 250 to 
300 fathoms. The maximuin sounding observed by the gov- 
ernment surveying parties, however, west of Newfirandland, 
is 313 fathoma 

Numerous' species of marine invertebrates were obtained, 
of which twenty-four species of moUusca occurred at depths 
of from 90 to 200 fathoms. Nearly all of these are arctic 
forms, and eleven of them are new to the continent of Amer- 
ica. Three species of brachiopods were found. The close 
similarity of the deep-sea fauna of the Gulf of St, Lawrence 


to that of the quaternary deposits of Korway was thought 
to be quite noticeable; but many of the characteristic North 
European invertebrates were not met with. This may, per- 
haps, have been owing to the comparatively limited extent 
of the investigations. It was expected that quite a resem- 
blance would be found to exist between the recent fauna of 
the deeper parts of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and that of the 
post-pliocene deposits of Canada. This, however, was not 
very striking, although somewhat indicated. — 12 A^ Novem- 
ber 2, 1871, 8. 


Professor Verrill has lately given, in the Journal of Science, 
an account of the researches in marine zoology prosecuted by 
him during the past summer at Wood's Hole, Massachusetts, 
in connection with investigations of Professor Baird respect- 
ing the food fishes of the coast of the United States ; and in 
this he calls the attention of geologists to some of the more 
important features of these examinations, promising a fuller 
account hereafter. One of these results consisted in ascer- 
taining that, while the shores and shallow waters of the bays 
and sounds, as far as Cap6 Cod, are occupied chiefly by south- 
ern forms belonging to the Virginian fauna, the deeper chan- 
nels and central parts of Long Island Sound, as far as Ston- 
ington,Connecticut, are inhabited almost exclusively by north- 
ern forms, or an extension of the Acadian fauna. Both the 
temperature observations at the surface and the deep-sea 
dredgings prove that there must be an offshoot of the arctic 
current settling into the middle of Vineyard Sound. Quite 
a number of interesting ascidians, both simple and compound, 
were met with by Professor Verrill, several of them entirely 
new to science. Several new sponges were collected, and 
also a large number of crustaceans and moUusks previously 
unrecorded in that region. We would refer our readers to 
Professor VerrilPs article in the November number of the 
American Journal of Science for these iuterestlng facts. — 4 
Dy November^ 1871, 357. 


We have already referred occasionally to investigations 
prosecuted during the past summer, on the great lakes, into 


the fauna and physical condition of the deeper watens ; and 
we find in the last number of Silliman's Journal a more de- 
tailed account of that portion of the work carried on in Lake 
Superior, upon the United States steamer Search, under the 
direction of General Comstock, of the Lake Survey, as report- 
ed by Mr. Sidney J.Smith, the zoologist of the expedition. 

The deepest water met with was 169 fathoms, the bottom 
being there covered, as m all the deeper portions of the lake, 
with. a uniform deposit of clay or clay mud; and not the 
slightest trace of saline matter was detected in the water in 
any part of the lake. The temperature, every where below 
thirty or forty fathoms, varied very little from 39° Fahr., al- 
though, in August, it varied at the surface from 50»to 55°. 
The fauna at the bottom was found to coiTespond'to these 
physical conditions. In the shallow waters the species vary 
down to thirty or forty fathoms, after which the deep-water 
fauna begins, and the species appear to be uniformly distrib- 
uted. The list of species is meagre, and the deep-water re- 
gion is characterized rather by the absence of many of the 
shore species than by the presence of any peculiar class. The 
same crustaceans and marine forms met with in 1870 in Lake 
Michigan were also found here abundantly, together with the 
same species of Pisidium; and some of the crustaceans have 
so far been undistinguishable from those found in Lake Wet- 
ter, in Sweden. The detailed account, of which that in the 
Journal of Science is an abstract, appears in the report of the 
chief engineer of the arniy to the Secretary of War, just pre- 
sented to Congress. — 4 D^ November^ 1871, 373. 


In the search for new regions of exploration and discov- 
ery, it is not a little surprising to be assured that, taking the 
West Indies as a group, we know almost as little of their 
natural history as we do of that of Central Africa, especially 
of the islands east and south of the Greater Antilles. Thanks 
to the labors of Dr. Gundlach and Professor Poey in Cuba, of 
Dr. Bryant in the Bahamas, of Mr, March and Mr. Gosse in 
Jamaica, of Mr. A. E. Younglove in Hayfi, of Dr. Bryant, Mr. 
Swift, and Mr. Latimer in Porto Rico, of Mr. Swift in St. Thom- 
as, of Mr. Oalody in Antigua, of Mr. Julien in Sombrero, and 
of Mr. Newton in Santa Cruz, we have a fair knowledge of . 


the birds of the islands mentioned; "but of Angnilla, St. Mar- 
tin, Barbuda, Nevis, Montserrat, and Grenada, we know noth- 
ing ; and of St. Bartholomew, St. John, Saba, and Barbadoes 
next to nothing. Dominica, Martinique, and Guadaloupe 
have been more or less explored by English and French natu- 
ralists, although with no very complete result. We are glad 
to see that the Zoological Society of London is printing a 
paper by Dr. Sclater upon a collection of the birds of Santa 
Lucia sent to the Society by Mr. De Vceux, in which twenty- 
five species are enumerated, and among them three entirely 
peculiar to the island, one of them, a species of oriole, being 
hitherto undescribed. To such of our readers as have a spir- 
it of enterprise, and are desirous of visiting a region which is 
sure to reward them with rich and undescribed treasures in 
natural history, we earnestly recommend the smaller West 
India Islands, to which a trip can be ma^de, especially in the 
winter season, with little or no risk talife or health, and with 
ample promise of satisfactory results. 


We find in the American Journal of Science for July a 
more detailed statement of the result of the Williams' College 
expedition than has heretofore been published. This consist- 
ed of five members of the present senior class, under the lead- 
ership of Mr. H. M, Myers, who gained much experience in 
the line of exploration in connection with the Venezuelan 
branch of Professor Orton's expedition of some years back.^ 
We have already referred to the movements of this party, 
and it is only necessary to add that large numbers of birds 
were obtained by the expedition at Comayagua, as well as 
two statues, exhumed at Chorozal, south of Belize. The col- 
lections made by the paiiiy will go to enrich the Williams' 
College Lyceum of Natural History, and will add much to its 
already extensive treasurer — 4-Z>,e^?y,1871,6^. 


After a seven years' Itour of exploration in South America, 
Dr. A. Habel, a fornjer resident of Hastings-on-the-Hudson, 
has veturned to New York, where he is assiduously engaged 
in preparing the results of his labors for the press. Among 
the regions traversed by this gentleman may be mentioned 

F. GEOGRAPHY. - 143 

the greater part of Central America, thetCordilleras of the An- 
des in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, and finally the Chincha 
Islands and the Galapagos.' During this whole period Pr. 
Habel was diligently occupied in gathering information in 
regard to the natural and physical history of the countries 
mentioned, especially in the departments of ethnology, mete- 
orology, and zoology. He has already made some communi- 
cations on the subject of his travels to the Academy of Sci- 
ences at Paris, and other learned bodies, and we look forward 
to his detailed report with anticipations of much interest. 
The guano deposits of the Chinchas were thoroughly explored 
by the doctor, who found them to be of a much more compli- 
cated structure than has hitherto been supposed. 


Much interest was excited in Bogota by the arrival there 
of a delegation of certain chiefs of the Tul6 tribes of Indians 
of the Isthmus of Darien, forthe purpose of presenting com- 
plaints to the federal authorities respecting impositions ex- 
ercised to their prejudice by various foreign vessels touching 
at their ports, as obliging them, under threats of violence, to 
sell their productions at prices fixed by the buyere, collect- 
ing the vegetable growths of their forests without the eon- 
sent of the owners, maltreating their families, etc. Among 
the parties referred to by the Indians were various members 
of the United States surveying expeditions. These people, it 
is said, are well adyanced in the arts of civilization, possess- . 
ing very comfortable residences, and raising a considerable va- 
riety of vegetable productions. Their capital is called Tituo, 
and their country is situated between the River Arquia on 
the ^ast, and the Gulf of San Bias on the west, extending over 
about 172 miles on the coast. The total population is esti- 
mated at 7200, occupying about 1200 houses, arranged in 36 
villages. — Panama Star and Herald. 


In the New York Herald we find a report of Captain Self- 
ridge, of the Darien Surveying Expedition, addressed to the 
President of Colombia, which presents the same conclusions 
in legard to the proposed canal as those already communi- 
cated by the Herald reporter accompanying the expedition^ 


and published in that paper. President Salgar is informed 
by Captain Selfridge that the expedition, composed .of two 
vessels of the United States navy, left New York in January, 
1870, and arrived in the Bay of Caledonia in the month of 
February following, a vessel of the PacifLe squadron having 
been sent to co-operate on the Pacific coast. 

From the port of Caledonia and from the port of Sarsardi 
observations were made on two lines, which terminated on 
the coast of. the Pacific in the confluences of the rivers Saba- 
na and Lara. Both these, however, were found to be imprac- 
ticable for a ship canal, the Cordilleras being at no point less 
than 1000 feet in altitude, while the breadth of the mountain 
rendered the. construction of tunnels impossible, .even if there 
had been enough water to furaish the necessary lockage. 

The expedition then sailed for the Bay of San Bias in the 
latter part of April, 1870, and surveyed a route which,' across 
the narrowest part of the isthmus, measured only twenty-six 
miles, from the Atlantic to the navigable river Bayamo. The 
results were equally unfavorable along this line, the lowest 
level of the Cordilleras being found to be 1134 feet, with 
heights of 800 feet on either side ; and the construction of a 
canal by this route was considered even more impracticable 
than by those just referred to. 

In consequence of the approach of the rainy season the ex- 
pedition ceased its labors, and sailed for New York on the 
10th of June, 1870. 

, The surveys were again resumed on the part of the United- 
States in December, and reached the mouth of the Atrato 
River on the 30th of the same month. The explorations of 
1871 were intended to embrace routes which follow certain 
tributaries of the Atrato, as well as a line said to have Iteen 
discovered by M. De Puydt, a Frenchman, who maintained 
that at no point was there an elevation of more than about 
250 feet. Careful exploration, however, with an exact mer- 
curial barometer, showed an altitude of 750 feet in the valley 
of Tunela before reaching the Cordilleras. The expedition 
then directed its principal efforts to the exploration of a line 
beginning at the Atrato, and following the valley of the Par- 
anchita (a tributary of the Cacarica), crossing the Cordillera 
of Cu6, down stream, and from that point to Penogama, and 
thence to a navigable point. The total length proved to be 


fifty-five miles, the route being generally known as that of 

Another line was surveyed, extending from the Bay of 
Cupica, in the Pacific, and following the valley of the Napipi 
to its mouth. A third route, by way of the River Bojaya, 
was heard of, but too late to make any examination ; and it 
was thought that the results of an inquiry there would not 
be any more satisfactory, at least, than the route by the Na-> 
pipi, both rivers runuing very near each other. 

Farther prosecution of the work during the past season 
was impracticable on account of the approach of the rainy 
season and the general exhaustion of the parties, but data 
enough were obtained, it is thought, to give a definite con- 
clusion in regard to the subject of inquiry. Both the Tuyra 
and Kapipi routes are believed, by Captain Selfridge to be 
practicable, although a canal along the former would proba- 
bly cost $140,000,000, and one along the latter $110,000,000. 
Neither is quite satisfactory, however, and it is a question 
whether, any attempt will be made to realize the much-talk- 
ed-of project on the Isthmus of Darien. 

In the progress of the expedition a vast amount of light 
was thrown upon the general geography and physical char- 
acter of the country, the natural history being illustrated by 
collections in the departments-of botany and zoology. Cap-' 
tain Selfridge conclude^ his report by reminding the govern- 
ment of Colombia that the route by Nicaragua will be a for- 
midable rival to any other more southern one, and that, un- 
less very favorable conditions are offered, it is more than like- 
ly that the canal will ultimately be built through Nicaragua. 
— New York JSercUdj September 1, 18V1. 


Within the past few years the government authorities of 
Peru have done a great deal toward exploring the less-known 
portions of that countiy, especially those on the eastern slope 
of the Andes, and the report of a late expedition has just 
reached uk The object of the examination in question was 
to determine the navigability of the River Per^n^, and the 
character of the adjacent country. This river, which is a 
branch of the Ucayale, or, rather, of the Apurimac, rises near 
the town of Tarma, in the department of Junin, and flows 



through the country of the Chuchumayo Indians, a wild and 
but little known tribe. According to the report of the chief 
of the expedition, dated October 26, the river was found to be 
completely unobstructed, and navigable to within a distance 
of only fifty-eight leagues from Lima, so that water commu- 
nication with the Atlantic becomes practicable by that route 
in half the time now required to pass round Cape Honi. The 
river is one hundred yards wide, and from thi'ee to five fath- 
oms in depth, up to a point where a convenient route across 
the Andes from Lima would strike it. 

In the course of the expedition an Indian camp was met 
with, in which was a house twenty yards long, sixteen yards 
wide, and fifteen yards high. In this they found a sort of 
furnace for smelting iron, which was of a square form, about 
two yards high, and one and three quarter yards each way, 
constructed of bricks half a yard long. The fire was furnish- 
ed with two double bellows, th6 fuel used being coal and 
wood, mixed with pounded ore. A considerable quantity of 
cast-iron was found, and a number of articles of unusual ex- 
cellence of construction. None of the Indians themselves 
Were met with, — Panama Star and Serald, Dec. 17,1870. 


Our readers have been kept advised, through the papers, 
of the movements of Professor Hartt's third visit to Brazil — 
instituted, in part, for the purpose of enriching the cabinet of 
Cornell University— and have been informed of its safe return 
on the 22d of December last. "We learn that, besides making 
extensive collections in all departments of natural science, 
the exploration has brought to light several new features in 
regard to the geology and physical geography of the valley. 
The great Amazonian forest, according to Mr.Hartt, does not 
cover the whole district from the Andes to the Atlantic, and 
the mountains of Guiana on the north to the plateaus of Mi- 
nas Geraes on the south, but consists of a comparatively nar- 
row fringe overgrowing the lowlands, or flats, bordering the 
banks of the river and its affluents, while the intervening re- 
gion is composed of grass-covered campos almost impercep- 
tibly swelling from the alluvial intervals, dotted here and 
there by groups of palms — muriti and carara — presenting 
a singular feature in the distribution of Amazonian forests. 


usually composed of numberless varieties within a limited 

Below the falls of the Tapajoz Mr. Hartt discovered car- 
boniferous rock, and made a collection of a large number of 
species of marine fossils froni this form|ttion. The most in- 
teresting physical feature of the Valley of the Amazon is the 
elevated range of Erer6, where the professor and his party 
spent nearly a month making detailed surveys. The sierra 
is composed of ancient rocks quite highly inclined, much dis- 
turbed, while the plains at the northern base consist of hori- 
zontal strata containing lower palaeozoic fossils, trilobites, etc. 
The cliffs of Erer6 are covered with Indian paintings, nearly 
all of which were carefully copied or photographed, and pre- 
sented many interesting analogies to the inscriptions on the 
Indian pottery found at Marajo, near the mouth of the river. 
A special study of the Tupi language enabled Mr. Hartt to 
collect many interesting facts regarding the primitive deni- 
zens of the Amazon, their customs, habits, and peculiar meth- 
od of teaching by symbolic fa)>le. 

In making a geological section of some fifly miles of the 
country near Santarem, they found a thick bed of recent Am- 
azonian shells at a height of some fifly feet above the high- 
est present level of the river, showing that in comparatively 
recent times the waters covered a much greater surface at a 
higher level 


The Department of Public Charities and Correction in 
New York has just published a report of the cruise of the 
school-ship Mercury in the tropical Atlantic, in 1870-71, un- 
der the command of Captain Giraud. This vessel, like the 
Massachusetts school-ship, is intended to give practical train- 
ing in seamanship to a class of vagabond boys, of whom no 
other disposition could be made ; and as this was the first 
experiment in New York, the result was looked for with a 
great deal of interest. This was entirely satisfactory, as, out 
of a crew of 268 boys, over 100 were, in the opinion of the 
captain, capable, on the return of the ship, of discharging the 
duties of ordinary seamen. The vessel in question sailed from 
Hart's Island on the 20th of December, 1870, and after stop- 
ping at the Madeira and Canary Islands, arrived at Sierra, 


Leone on the I4th of February. Leaving on the 2 let of Feb- 
ruary, the vessel proceeded in a straight line to the island of 
Barbadoes, a distance of about 2800 miles, and thence returned 
to New York. 

What especially cpncerns us in the present instance, how- 
ever, is the fact that the voyage was utilized in the interest 
of science by a series of deep-sea soundings and dredgings, 
prosecuted between Sierra Leone and Barbadoes, these rang- 
ing in depth from 500 to 3100 fathoms, and embracing in the 
results specimens of the sea bottom, as also temperatures at 
various depths. The results of the voyage in this respect 
have been ably discussed by Professor Henry Draper, of the 
New York University, and a report published by the Depart- 
ment of Public Charities and Corrections. 

As a general conclusion, he informs us that there exists, all 
over the bottom of the tropical Atlantic and the Caribbean 
Sea, a stratum of cold water, the temperature of which is be- 
low 60° Fahr. The general observations, in Professor Dra- 
per's opinion, confirm the theory of Dr. Carpenter in regard 
to the existence of a general movement of the lower water 
of the Atlantic toward the equator, and a corresponding flow 
of the surface water toward the pole. 


The Kaieteur Fall, in Demerara, is to be added to the list of 
remarkable waterfalls, as its height is asserted to be greater 
than that of any other known. The perpendicular descent, 
according to careful observation, amounts to 750 feet, with a 
width during the rainy season of 100 yards. The water, aft- 
er passing over the edge, preserves its consistency for only a 
short distance in the central portion, every where else being 
only a sheet of fine foam or spray, in appearance very much 
like snow. One interesting feature connected with this fall 
is the fact that the cavern behind it is the home of thousands 
of swallows, which issue from it in the morning and return in 
large flocks at night. The precise species to which these 
swallows belong is not indicated, and it is quite possible that 
they are actually swifts, and^ therefore, belong to a very dif* 
ferent family, — 12 A, December 8, 1870, 108. 




According to Dr. Krefft, the well-known curator of the 
Australian Museum at Sydney, the vertebrate fauna of Aus- 
tralia, recent and fossil, foots up 133 mammals, 670 birds, 150 
reptiles, 42 batrachians, and 440 fishes, making a total of 
nearly 1500 species. Of the mammals, 110 are marsupials, 
and 30 are rodents. Of parrots, 60 species are enumerated, 
no woodpeckers, hummingbirds, or trogons being met with. 
Reptiles are abundant, embracing one species of crocodile, 
which often attain a length of 30 feet. Of 80 known species 
of serpents only 5 are poisonous, and those not so dangerous 
as the common English viper, and much less so than the 
American rattlesnake or copper-head. — ISAylSll^Jidy 15, 


Of late years much attention has been directed by natural- 
ists to the peculiarities of the faunsi of islands, and the study 
of their native animals has tended to throw great light upon 
the question as to the length of time that must have elapsed 
since such islands were either lifted up from the bed of the 
sea or cut off from connection with the main. We have giv- 
en in previous pages some notices of the fauna of Madeira 
and its special peculiarities, and in the recent work of Mr. 
Frederick Godman upon the natural history of the Azores 
we have a similar problem elaborated. The most striking 
feature, as developed by Mr. Godman's book, is the great 
similarity between the productions of the islands and those 
of Europe, although separated by an interval of a thousand 
miles and a channel of 15,000 feet in depth. Thus 80 to 90 
per cent, of the birds, the butterflies, the beetles, and the 
plants are the same as the European forms, while only 1 or 2 
per cent, are American. This appears anomalous at first, in 
view of the fact that the currents of both water and air are 
from the west — a fact which should produce a preponderance 
of western or American foims. Great Britain, and especially 


Ireland, are every year visited by numbers of American birds, 
brought by the westerly winds, no less than 60 or ,70 species 
having already been recorded ; while, as far as we can learn, 
not one bird has ever been carried from Europe,, in the oppo- 
site direction, to America, there being good reason to believe 
that the European stragglers, picked up from time to time in 
our country, have reached us by way of Greenland. 

Mr. Godman's explanation of this anomaly is to the effect 
that the Azores are in the region of storms from all points of 
the compass, and that every year these storms bring birds 
from Europe, and probably carry away an occasional Ameri- 
can straggler. The enormous preponderance of species un- 
distinguishable from those now inhabiting the Continent, and 
the entire absence of native mammalia and reptiles, according 
to our author, are conclusive proof that the fauna and flora 
are not due to a former continental extension connecting the 
islands with Europe. 

We have already referred to the peculiarity of the Madei- 
ran beetle fauna in the existence of numerous wingless gene- 
i-a, and a similar condition appears to prevail in the Azores, 
some of these insects being undistinguishable, even as species, 
from their European allies, excepting in this characteristic. 
A single species of beetle belongs to a genus peculiar to Mad- 
agascar, and a single plant alone represents Africa in the 
Azores, and it is suggested that both the beetle and plant 
may have been carried thither by means of a floating log, 
brought from the regions indicated. Attention is called by 
Mr. Godman to the difference between the Azores and the 
Galapagos, where, at only half the distance from South Amer- 
ica, the fauna is almost entirely peculiar. This is explained 
by the suggestion that these latter islands are in a i*egion of 
calms instead of storms, and that the introductions have been, 
therefore, of much rarer occurrence, and, when once establish- 
ed in their isolation, have been more readily modified by ex- 
ternal conditions. — 13 A^ May 16, 266. 


Mr. Edward Blyth, a well-known naturalist of England, 
has published in Nature a sketch of a new division of the 
earth into zoological regions, differing somewhat from that of 
Dr. Sclater and other writers upon this subject. The num- 


ber of I'egions proposed by him is seven, the first being called 
the Boreal Megioriy divisible, first, into the portion within the 
arctic circle, including Greenland ; second, North America ; 
third. Central America, with the Antilles ; fourth, the chain 
of the Andes, with Chile, Patagonia, and the archipelagos to 
the southward ; fifth, Europe and Asia south of the arctic 
circle and north of the Pyrenees and to the Western Hima- 
layas, thus extending from the British Islands to Northern 
Japan ; sixth, the country adjacent to the Mediterranean, in- 
cluding Africa north of the Atlas, and extending eastward to 
Middle China and Southern Japan ; seventh, Mongolia, Thi- 
bet, and Chinese Tartary. 

Tlie second, or the Columbian Hegion^ including South 
America minus the portions already referred to, is divided, 
first, into the forest countries east of the Andes ; second, the 
pampas territory ; third, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, and the Galapa- 

The third, or the JEthicpian Hegion^ includes Africa south 
of the Atlas and of Egypt. This is divided into the countries 
extending from Senegal to Nubia and Arabia, and including 
that around the head of the Persian Gulf, etc., as well as the 
depression of the Dead Sea and the Valley of the Jordan ; 
second, Negroland ; third, Southern Africa ; fourth, Hindos- 
tan proper, Deccan, and the country to the northern half of 
Ceylon. ., 

The fourth, or Zemurian Hegion^ includes Madagascar, the 
Mascarene Islands, Seychelles, etc. 

The fifth is the AiistraMan Begion^ embracing the Indo- 
Chinese peninsula, the southern watershed of the Himalayas, 
Lower Bengal, the Philippine Islands, Hainan, Formosa, etc. 
This .includes five subdivisions, which, perhaps, it is not nec- 
essaiy to enumerate in detail. 

The sixth, or Melanesian Region^ embraces, first, Australia 
minus Yorke Peninsula, part of Queensland, and Tasmania ; 
second, the islands of Papua, New Britain, and New Ireland, 
Ceram, and the Moluccas, as also Yorke Peninsula and the 
eastern half of Queensland, or the main land of Australia ; 
third, the islands of Celebes, Lombok, Timor, etc. ; and, fourth^ 
the antarctic region, including Kerguelen Land. 

The seventh, or Polynesian Region^ embraces, first. New 
Zealand and adjacent islands; and, second, Polynesia, com- 


prehending the archipelagos of the Pacific, with the exception 
of those belonging to the Columbian Region. — 12 A^ March 
30, 428. 


Dr. Selater, the secretary of the Zoological Society of Lon- 
don, in a paper upon the peculiarities of the vertebrate fauna 
of New Zealand, remarks that these consist, first, in the ab- 
sence of all mammals excepting two species of bats; second, 
the presence of numerous forms of birds not known elsewhere, 
such as the Apteryx^ and others ; third, the absence of rep- 
tiles, excepting two genera of lizards, and a third form of 
iizard-like animal, considered by Dr. Gunther to constitute a 
special order ; fourth, the absence of frogs, toads, and sala- 
manders, with the exception of one species of the first-men- 
tioned genus; fifth, a scarcity of fresh-water fishes, which are 
allied partly to the Australian and partly to antarctic Amer- 
ican forms ; and, sixth, the recent presence of a peculiar fam- 
ily (Dinornis) of gigantic birds of the ostrich group, now ex- 
tinct. — 12 A^ Jan. 6, 192. 


In the course of a critical comparison of the marine faunaa 
of the east and west coasts of America, Professor Verrill takes 
occasion to mark out what he considers to be the principal 
zoological provinces of Western America. Taken in the or- 
der of his enumeration, he commences with what he calls the 
JSitchian Province, corresponding with the Syrtensian Prov- 
ince of the Atlantic coast, and extending from the termina- 
tion of the arctic or circumpolar fauna to the coast of Oregon. 
The second, or Oregonian Province, includes the Puget Sound 
coast, and that of Oregon to Cape Mendocino, and represents 
the Acadian fauna on the east coast of America. The third, 
or the C/xUfomian Pi'ovince, reaches from Cape Mendocino 
to Santa Barbara, and perhaps farther southward, and appar- 
ently corresponds to the Virginian fauna on the Atlantic. 
The precise southern extension of this fauna is not entirely 
worked out, there being possibly two other provinces, the 
Diegoan and Sonoran^ as indicated by Professor Dana, filling 
up the gap reaching to the Panaman Province. This in- 
cludes the Gulf of California, and extends from Margarita 


Bay, California, to Cape Blanco, Peru, and has three snbdi- 
Tisions or districts : the Mexican^ covering the Gulf of Cali- 
fornia, Cape St. Lucas, and the Mexican coast to Acapulco ; 
the I^znaman^ including the coast of Central America and 
the Bay of Panama ; and the JEcuadoran, extending south- 
ward from Panama Bay to Cape Blanco, Peru. The Galapa- 
gos Province, according to Professor Verrill, may possibly be 
a district of the preceding, but additional collections are nec- 
essary to establish this point. The JP^^vian Province, ex- 
tending from Cape Blanco to Northern Chili, is apparently 
well marked ; and the Chilian Province^ embracing the mid- 
dle coast of Chili, also has its peculiar fauna. The Arauca- 
nian Province extends from Valdivia to the southwestern 
coast of Patagonia ; while the last, or the Fuegian Province, 
includes Southern California and the adjacent islands. — Trans. 
Conn, Acad.^ 1871. 


Professor Haughton, of Dublin, announces for immediate 
publication his long-expected work on animal mechanics. 
The author is well known as a comparative anatomist as 
well as an excellent mathematician, two qualifications neces- 
sary for the successful treatment of the subject. The Athe- 
ruBum is of the opinion that there has been no writer on ani- 
mal mechanics since the time of Barrelli, in the seventeenth 
century, so competent to discuss the subject as Dr. Haugh- 
ton ; the brothers Weber, of Giessen, who have also written 
on the subject, one of them an anatomist and the other a 
mathematician, scarcely meeting the requirements in the 
case. — 15 -4,1870, October 15, 504. 


Of all the disciples of the idea of the mechanical theory of 
life, or of spontaneous generation, as connected, more or less, 
with the Darwinian doctrine of evolution, one of the most 
potent is Professor Ernst Haeckel, of Jena; and his writings 
in defense of the idea of abiogenesis are attracting much at- 
tention. In a recent critical notice of his later publications 
in Nature we find a statement of his views in this respect 
which may be summed up, in his own words, in the following 
striking, even if sometimes enigmatical, sentences : 



" 1. The forms of organisms, and of their organs, result en- 
tirely from life, and simply from the interaction of two phys- 
iological functions, heredity and adaptation. 

^' 2. Heredity is a part of the reproduction ; adaptation, on 
the other hand, a pait of the maintenance of the organism. 
These two physiological functions depend, as do all forms of 
vital activity, on the character of the physiological organ 
through which they come into play. 

" 3. The physiological organs of the organism are either 
simple plastids (cytods or cells), or they are parts of plastids 
{e. g.y nuclei of cells, cilia of protoplasm), or they are built up 
of numerous plastids (the majority of organs). 

'' In all these cases the forms and actions of the organs are 
to be traced back to the fonns and actions of the individual 

'^4. Plastids are either simple cytods (structureless bits 
of protoplasm without nuclei) or cells ; but since these last 
have originally arisen from cytods by a differentiation of the 
inner 'nucleus' and the outer * protoplasm,' the forms and 
vital properties of all plastids can be traced back to the sim- 
plest cytods as their starting-point. 

" 5. The simplest cytods, from which all other plastids (cy- 
tods and cells) originally have arisen by heredity and adap- 
tation, consist essentially and absolutely of nothing more 
than a bit of structureless protoplasm — an albuminoid, nitro- 
genous carbon compound ; all other components of plastids 
have been originally formed secondarily from protoplasm 
(plasma products). 

" 6. The simplest independent organisms which we know, 
and which, moreover, can be conceived, the monera, consist, 
in fact, while living, of nothing else but the simplest cytod, a 
structureless bit of protoplasm ; and since they exhibit all 
forms of vital activity (nutrition, reproduction, irritability, 
movement), these vital activities are here clearly bound on 
to structureless protoplasm. 

" 7. Protoplasm, or germinal matter (JSildungsstoff), also 
called cell substance or primitive slime ( UracJdeim)^ is there- 
fore the single material basis {materieUe Orundlag^ to which, 
without exception and absolutely, all so-called * vital phe- 
nomena' are radically bound. If the latter are regarded as 
the result of a peculiar vital force independent of the proto- 


plasm, then necessarily also must the physical and chemical 
properties of every inorganic natural body be regarded as 
the result of a peculiar force not bound up with its substance. 

^'8. The protoplasm of all plastids is, like air other albu- 
minoid or protein bodies, composed of four inseparable ele- 
ments — carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen, to which 
often, though not always, a fifth element — namely, sulphur — 
is added. 

"9. The forms and vital properties of protoplasm are con- 
ditioned by the peculiar manner in which carbon has com- 
bined itself so as to form a highly developed compound with 
the three or four other elements named. Compounds devoid 
of carbon never exhibit those peculiar chemical and physical 
properties which exclusively belong to only a part of the 
compounds, of carbon (the so-called * organic compounds') ; 
on this account modern chemistry has replaced the term * or- 
ganic compounds' by the more significant term^ carbon com- 

"10. Carbon, then, is that element, that indivisible funda^ 
mental substance which, in virtue of its peculiar physical and 
chemical properties, stamps the various carbon compounds 
with their peculiar organic character ; and in chief fashions 
this protoplasm, the ' matter of life' (Zebenastoff)^ so that it 
becomes the material basis of all vital phenomena. 
. "11. The peculiar properties which protoplasm and the 
other compon^it tissues and substances of the organism de- 
rived secondarily, from it exhibit, especially their viscid condi- 
tion and aggregation, their continual change of matter (on the 
one hand their facile decomposition, on the other their facile 
power of assimilation), and their other 'vital properties,' are 
therefore simply and entirely brought about by the peculiar 
and complex manner in which carbon under certain condi- 
tions can combine with the other elements. 

"12. The entire properties of the organism are therefore 
ultimately conditioned with equaV necessity by the physical 
and chemical properties of carbon, as are the entire properties 
of every salt and every inorganic compound conditioned by 
the physical and chemical properties of its component ele- 
ments." — 12 ^,1871, March 2, 348. 



Few scientific works have excited more attention than that 
of Mr. Charles Darwin upon ^^The Descent of Man, and Selec- 
tion in Relation to Sexes,*' the only parallel perhaps being 
found in some previous works by the same author. This 
treatise has already been discussed from almost every point 
of view, and lor a considerable time it was almost impossible 
to take up a periodical at all interested in such subjects, with- 
out finding one or more notices of the book. Among the best 
written of these criticisms may be cited one in The Aeademt/, 
from the pen of Mr. Alfred R. Wallace, himself a naturalist of 
a high degree of eminence, and, although known to agree 
with Mr. Darwin in some of his views, yet entirely opposed 
to him in others. 

As summed up in this article, the first chapter of Mr. Dar- 
win's book discusses the evidence for the descent of man 
from some lower form, in which it is shown that man's entire 
structure is comparable, bone by bone, and muscle by muscle, 
with that of other vertebrata, while the close relationship is 
shown in many other ways, such, for instance, as his ability 
to receive certain animal diseases — as glanders and hydro- 
phobia; his having internal and external parasites of the 
same families and genera as those of the lower animals ; and 
in exhibiting an embryonic development so exactly similar- 
to that of other vertebrates that his emfcryo can scarcely be 
distinguished. Much stress is laid upon the occurrence in 
man of rudiments of structures characteristic of lower forms, 
many muscles regularly present in the apes and other mam- 
mals appearing occasionally in man, although sometimes in- 
appreciable or wanting. When the mental powers of the 
lower animals are compared with those of man they are found 
to exhibit a strong resemblance, although more or less rudi- 
mentary ; and in reference to the origin of the moral sense, 
Mr. Darwin maintains that this arises from the social instincts 
combined with an active intellect. 

The manner of the development of man from some lower 
form is next very fully discussed, attention being called to 
the extreme variability of every part of his bodily structure 
and mental faculties, the influence of changed conditions, and 
the occurrence of arrested developments, reversions, and va- 


riations, just as in the lower animals. Although natural se- 
lection must have acted upon man as upon the lower animals, 
yet Mr. Darwin and Mr. Wallace agree in the view that, as 
soon as man's mind had become moderately developed, the 
action of natural selection would become changed as regards 
the general structure, and transferred to the mental faculties. 
This advance from animal to man, it is thought, must have 
taken place before the dispersal of the race over the world. 

The author next discusses the special affinities of man to 
the lower animals, by which the line of the genealogy can be 
traced, and the time and place of his origin, together with the 
nature and the probable origin of the several races of man. 
The consideration of this latter subject necessitates the con- 
sideration of sexual selection. The theory presented by Mr. 
Darwin depends upon the almost invariable occurrence of a 
struggle among males for the females — a struggle carried on 
by actual fighting, or by rivalry in voice or in beauty. This 
produces two sets of modifications in male animals : first, 
weapons of various kinds have been developed, owing to 
' those best able to fight having most frequently left progeny 
to inherit their superiority ; and musical organs, bright col- 
ors, or ornamental appendages, in consequence of the females 
preferring males so gifted or adorned. This subject is treat- 
ed of at great length, about five hundred pages of the orig- 
inal edition being occupied by its consideration; 

The sexual differences in man are stated by Mr. Darwin to 
be greater than in most species of monkeys, while in their 
general features and mode of development man agrees re- 
markably with those animals — one of these consisting in the 
&ct that whenever the beard differs in color from the hair on 
the head, it is always lighter both in man and monkeys. The 
law of battle for wives still prevails among some savages, just 
as it does among wild animals ; and the admiration of certain 
types of form and complexion, as involving the selection of 
wives and husbands, is considered to have been an important 
agent in determining both the races and the sexual differences 
of mankind. In the final summary of the whole argument, 
contained in the last chapter, Mr. Darwin maintains that the 
whole evidence leads to the conclusion that man, whatever 
his present character, mental and physical, bears still in his 
bodily frame the stamp of a lowly origin. 


Most naturalists, from the times of Blamenbach and Cavier, 
in a systematic arrangement of the animal kingdom, have 
considered roan as either a type of a distinct suborder, class, 
or even of a higher rank. Professor Huxley, however, and ' 
other prominent men of science who have devoted special at- 
tention to the critical comparison of the structure of man and 
the apes, have insisted that as man, in all parts of his organi- 
zation, differs less from the higher apes than these do from 
the lower members of the same group, there is no justifica- 
tion for placing him in a distinct order. In this view Mr. 
Darwin agrees, but thinks that he may perhaps be entitled 
to form a distinct suborder, or, at any rate, a family. Pro- 
fessor Huxley divides the primates into three suborders, 
namely, the .AnthropodcBy with man alone ; the /SimiadcBj in- 
cluding monkeys of all kinds ; and the XemuridcBy or lemurs, 
with their variations and related forms ; and Mr. Darwin 
thinks that, so far as differences in certain important points 
of structure are concerned^ man may rightly claim the rank 
of a suborder, but that, if we look to his mental faculties 
alone, this rank is too low. Again, on the other hand, in a ' 
genealogical point of view, even subordinal rank is too high, 
and man ought to form merely a family, or possibly only a 
subfamily. Putting his creed into the plainest terms — name- 
ly, that man is a lineal descendant of some form of ape — ^and 
referring to the great differences between the iapes of the Old 
and New World, Mr. Darwin proceeds to inquire to which of 
the two man's ancestry belongs. He finds that in the essen- 
tials of the characteristics of the nose and of the premolar 
teeth the relation is especially with the Old- World species, 
and that, consequently, man must be considered as an off- 
shoot from the Old- World monkey-stem. It is not, however, 
to be inferred, according to our author, that man was identi- 
cal with, or even closely related to, any existing ape or mon- 
key, but that he diverged at an early period from the com- 
mon stock, and that both divisions have probably been more 
or less modified in the descent, so as to differ greatly from 
their ancestors. 

Since man belongs to the Old-World division of the anthro- 
poid animals, his origin must have been, as. already stated, 
in the Old World, probably in Africa, for reasons adduced 
by our author. The country inhabited by him was probably 


hot, consequently involving the ' loss of his hairy covering, 
and he is supposed to have lived upon fruits. The period of 
divergence of man from the monkey stock is thought by Mr. 
Darwin to have been as remote as that of the eocene ; and at 
a time still more recent he supposes him to have been cover- 
ed with hair, both sexes to have had beards, ears pointed and 
capable of movement, and tails having the proper muscles. 
The foot is supposed to have been prehensile at that time, 
judging from the position of the great toe in* the fetus, and 
resting-places were probably occupied by him in trees, like 
those of many apes of the present day. The males are sup- 
posed by him to have been provided with great canine teeth, 
serving as formidable weapons. 

After presenting a summary of Mr. Darwin's views, as un- 
derstood by Mr. Wallace in the article referred to, the latter 
writer proceeds to take exceptions to some points enumera- 
ted, as derived from his own extended observations in the 
line of scientific research, but finally concludes his notice by 
conceding that Mr. Darwin has all but demonstrated the or- 
igin of man by descent from some inferior form, that he has 
proved the vast impoi*tance of sexual influences in modifying 
the characters of the more highly organized animals, and that 
he has thrown fresh light upon the mode of development of 
the moral and intellectual nature of man. 

In giving the views of Mr. Darwin as condensed by Mr. 
Wallace, we of course are not to be considei*ed as indorsing 
them as having been accepted by the scientific world. The 
work itself, in-its immense array of facts, or, at least, of43tate- 
ments, and in the logical precision with which they are ar- 
rayed and brought up, either to form a hypothesis or sustain 
it, is a store-house of information and a masterpiece of reason- 
ing; and though the general inferences may not be' accepted 
and adopted, there is no doubt that it will exercise a very 
powerful influence upon the science of the day. It may be 
stated, however, that the doctrine of evolution, which forms 
so important a feature in Mr. Darwin's views, apait from 
that of natui*al selection, is accepted to a very great extent 
by a large proportion of the leading naturalists of the day, 
and that their Qumber is constantly increasing. — 13^,1871, 



Mr. William Thompson, in his address before the British 
Association at Edinburgh, tftkes occasion to give in his adhe- 
sion to the Darwinian views of evolution, and not only ex- 
presses his belief that all the higher organisms now covering 
the face of the earth have most probably developed them- 
selves from lower ones, but suggests also that these were 
most likely derived from meteoric stones and other matter 
fallen from the planets. — 13 A^ 1871, August 15, 402. 


In spite of the opposition manifested by many persons to 
the idea, it appears to be now well established that the earli- 
est inhabitants of Europe were cannibals ; and it is said that 
it was a matter of religious observance with the ancient Irish 
to eat their parents. — 15 -4, 1 870, AprU 9, 489, 


Among the more recent investigations especially interest- 
ing in a scientific point of view were those upon spontaneous 
generation as conducted by Dr. Bastian. It is well known 
that Professor Huxley, in his address delivered before the 
British Association in 1870, made special reference to these 
inquiries, and came to the conclusion that the data upon 
which Dr. Bastian based his conclusions were incorrect, and 
that the existence of any thing like spontaneous generation, 
if not finally disproved, at least required stronger arguments 
than had been presented for its acceptance as a law. 

Subsequently to this, Dr. Frankland, who has made many 
experiments for Dr. Bastian, announced in Mature that he 
had lately re-examined the entire subject with more critical 
precautions than had hitherto been taken, and that he found 
nothing whatever to show the occurrence of spontaneous gen- 
eration. It is true that various movements of atoms were 
observed, as stated by Dr. Bastian, but this movement was 
found to be a mere Brownian motion, many of the particles 
being minute splinters of glass, and without the slightest evi- 
dence of life in any of them. This observatipn of Dr. Frank- 
land would seem to settle the question for the present,. and 
render it necessary for the advocates of spontaneous genera- 


tion to briDg forward further arguments, although Dr. Bas- 
tian does not appear at all satisfied with the reasoning of Dr. 
Fmnkland, to judge from the rejoinder he has published in 
JVature for January 26.— 12^,1871, Jaw. 29,225. 


In a paper on the " Theory of Atmospheric Germs," by Dr. 
Sansom, published in the April number of the Quarterly Jour- 
nal ofScience^ after a critical examination and testing of the 
various views held by different writers on this question, the 
author comes to the following conclusions: " 1. Putrefaction, 
mildew formation, and the appearance of organisms can be 
checked or absolutely prevented by the existence of certain 
agents in the air supplied to a putrescible body. 2. The pow- 
er of such agents can in no sense be measured by their chem- 
ical constitution and characters. From many experiments, 
the following expresses their order of efficiency from weakest 
to strongest: (1), chloride of lime; (2), sulphurous acid, am- 
monia, sulphuric ether ; (3), chloroform ; (4), camphor; (6), 
iodine, phosphorus, creosote, carbolic acid. 3. The agents 
which stop fermentation are vegetable, not animal poisons. 
Fungi will grow in the presence of hydrocyanic acid and of 
strychnia. 4. Comparative experiments show that a given 
volatile agent is far more efficient when it is contained in the 
air supplied to a putrescible solution than when an equal 
quantity is mixed with the solution itself 5. All fungoid or- 
ganisms can be prevented by the presence of a minute pro- 
portion of creosote, carbolic acid, ammonia, hydrochloric acid, 
or sulphurous acid in the air^ though beneath the surface of 
the fluid are found numerous bacteria and vibrios. There 
seems to be no escape from the conclusion that the germs of 
fungi exist in the air, and are destroyed by the volatile poi- 
sonous agent." — 16 A, 1871, 169. 


During a lecture by Professor Tyndall upon dust and smoke, 
he took occasion to make renewed reference to the influence 
of atmospheric action upon putrefaction and decomposition, 
and reiterated his belief that contagious disease is generally 
of a parasitic nature, and is propagated by spores floating 
through the atmosphere as positively, to all intents and pur- 


poses, as a crop of wheat is raised from its seed. , He dwelt 
upon experiments by Recklingshauser in regard to the devel- 
opment of blood, and stated that he had himself seen in the 
laboratory of that gentleman blood which had been three 
weeks, four weeks, and five weeks ont of the body preserved 
in little porcelain cups under glass shades, and which was 
then living and growing, the amoeba-like movements of the 
white corpuscles being present, with abundant evidence of 
growth and development ; also a frog's heart still pulsating 
which had been removed from the body more than a -week. 
This was attributed to the entire absence of putrefactive 
germs, the inatnunents employed having been raised to a red 
heat just before use, and the suspending threads of silver 
wire being similarly heated. It is also stated that the reme- 
dial effect of bandages, plasters, etc., upon wounds and sores 
is in large part dependent upon the exclusion of atmospheric 
germs by their application, and that it is now considered one 
of the cardinal principles in surgery to protect, as far as pos- 
sible, any injured surface from the entrance, of such germs.— 
12 AylSlly June 16,124. 


Mr. Crace Calvert, well known for his researches upon proto- 
plasmic life in its different conditions, has recently instituted 
a series of inquiries as to whether the germs existing or pro- 
duced in a liquid in a state of fermentation or of putrefaction 
could be conveyed to a liquid susceptible of entering into 
these states, and has presented the first results of his inqui- 
ries to the Royal Society of London. In the course of his ex- 
periments he was astonished to find how rapid the develop- 
ment of germ life may be under certain circumstances. Thus, 
if the white of a new-laid egg be mixed with water (free from 
life), and exposed to the atmosphere for only fifteen minutes 
in the month of August or September, it will show life in 
abundance. For this reason he was misled in many of his 
earlier experiments in not being sufficiently careful to avoid 
even momentary exposure to the atmosphere. To the want 
of a knowledge of this fact he ascribes all the erroneous con- 
clusions arrived at by several pei*sons who have devoted their 
attention to the subject of spontaneous generation. Kefer- 
ring to the paper itself for details, we may say that a positive 



conclusion, against the truth of the theory of spontaneous 
generation was reached by Mr. Calvert, ranging him thus on 
the side of Professor Huxley, Professor Tyndall, and othera, 
as against Dr. Bastian and his confreres. One of his experi- 
ments tended to show that although oxygen appeare to favor 
the development of germs, it do^ not appear to favor thieir 
reproduction, and that the increase of life in an albumen so- 
lution is not due to^reproduction merely, but to. the introduc- 
tion of fresh germs from the atmosphere. — 1 AyJtdy 14, 13, 


Dr. Wetherill furnishes to Nature an interesting contribu- 
tion on the subject of hereditary deformities. In referring 
to the former practice of the squaws of the Sioux Indians, in 
having small disks, from one eighth to one fourth of an inch 
in diameter, tattooed upon the prominences of their cheek- 
bones, he states that, during a visit, some years ago, to the 
country inhabited by these people, he was informed by a 
physician of the tribes that sometimes a child was bom with 
these marks, and the statement was confirmed by the Indian 
agent. We regret that the doctor was unable, as he states, 
to verify the occurrence by personal observation, as, if true, it 
would be a fact of extreme interest. — 12 A^ I810,l)ec. 29, 168. 


In a lecture before the University of Edinburgh, by Profes- 
sor Wyville Thomson, the distinguished author took occasion 
to say thatp while the distinction between inorganic bodies 
and organized beings instinct with life appears clear, it is im- 
possible to draw a definite line between the animal and the 
vegetable kingdoms. In the course of his inquiries he disr 
cusses the fourth kingdom of Ernest Haeckel, the Monera, the 
cells of which differ from othei's'^by the absence of a nucleus, 
and the total want of differentiation of any parts, and con- 
cludes that not only there is no satisfactory basis for such. a 
fourth kingdom, but that we must take organic nature as a 
whole, that the animal and vegetable kingdoms are absolute- 
ly continuous, and that a tree is scarcely distinguishable from 
a gigantic nummulite, only building a cellulose instead of a 
calcareous shell, and developing a special secretion in special 
organs for the purpose of enabling it to do so. — 12 A^ June 



Professor Mantegazza, in the Italian Journal of Anthro- 
pology and Ethnology^ proposes a new expression of the re- 
lation between the different races of man and animals^ based 
on the comparison of the area of the occipital foramen and 
the total internal capacity of the skull, or the ratio of the 
spinal marrow to the brain, which he calls the cephalo-spinal 
index. This index he considers to be less variable than the 
BO-called cephalic index, or the relation between the longitudi- 
nal and transvei*se diameters of the cranium. — 13 -4, 1871, 
t/t^/ie 1,288. 


Sir John Lubbock, in his work on " The Origin of Civiliza- 
tion, and the Primitive Condition of Man," comes to the fol- 
lowing conclusions from his extensive researches : First, that 
existing savages are not the descendants of civilized ances- 
tors; second, ''that the primitive condition of man was one 
of utter barbarism;" third, ''that from this condition several 
races have raised themselves." His inference, therefore, is 
that the history of the human race has, on the whole, been 
one of progress. He does not mean to say that every mce is 
necessarily advancing. On the contrary, most of the lower 
ones are almost stationary, and there are no doubt cases in 
which nations have fallen back ; but it seems an almost inva- 
riable rule that such races are dying out, while those that are 
stationary in condition are stationary in numbers also. On 
the other hand, improving nations increase in numbers, so 
that they always encroach on those less progressive. — 16 -4, 


According to some investigations of M. Papillon, presented 
to the Academy of Sciences in Paris, it has been ascertained 
that a certain percentage of strontian, magnesia, or alumina 
may be substituted for the lime normally present in bone, 
without affecting essentially its condition. The experiments 
were tried upon pigeons and other animals, by supplying 
them with water mixed with the different salts of potash and 
soda, and with grain incrusted by a fine paste of one or other 



of the ingredients in question. While no particular influence 
seemed to be exercised upon the animal by this novel regi- 
men, on its being killed and the bones subjected to a chem^ 
ical examination, the particular substance experimented with 
was found to enter in very considerable quantity into the 
ash. — 6 B; August 16, 373. 


Karl Aeby discusses the cause of the permanence of the 
organic substance of bone, and comes to the conclusion that 
its resistance to putrefaction is a consequence of the small 
quantity of water it contains, which, besides, is in chemical 
combination, fresh bones having about eleven or twelve per 
cent, of water and twenty-eight of organic matter. As a 
proof that the water is combined chemically, Mr. Aeby men- 
tions that thoroughly dried and finely pulverized bones, when 
moistened, become considerably heated (one gram of bone 
evolving about twelve units of heat). This chemically com- 
bined water seems to act the part of water of crystallization, 
and can not induce putrefaction, while the rigidity of the in- 
organic substance prevents swelling — ^. c, the reception of 
more water from the outside. Crushed and finely pulverized 
bones, on the contrary, swell by soaking, and then speedily 
putrefy.— 18 (7, 1871, xvii., 266. 


Mr.Pengelly, in the Quarterly Journal of Science^ in reply 
to a question which has often been asked as to the reason 
why we do not find the bones of the men who made the un- 
polished flint implements as. well as the implements them- 
selves — a doubt thereby being thrown upon the human^origin 
of these articles — ^takes occasion to show, by a careful colla- 
tion of the evidence on the subject, that human bones have 
been found in repeated instances by reliable observers in Eng- 
land, France, Belgium, «nd elsewhere ; and furthermore, that 
even if nothing of this sort were discoverable, human agency 
in the production of these implements is as distinctly shown 
as the print of a naked foot proved to Robinson Crusoe the 
presence of a second human being on his desert island. He 
also shows that there is a great diflerence in the bones of 
different animals as to the length of time their remains are 


preserved, and that in all probability human bones are much 
less permanent in their structure than those of many other 
animals. He cites experiments by Dr. Lindley, in which one 
hundred and seventy-seven specimens of plants, belonging to 
different natural ordera, including those which are constantly 
present as fossils in the coal measures, and those also which 
are universally absent, were placed in water in a tank and 
left for two years untouched — water being simply poured in 
to replace that which was wasted by evaporation. At the 
end of that time it was found that certain kinds had entirely 
disappeared, while others had left some more or less recog- 
nizable traces ; and again others, especially fungi, ferns, and 
coniferous trees, precisely those which are generally found 
fossilized, were comparatively well preserved. 

He also remarks, in regard to the mollusca, that certain 
shells, like oysters and limpets, are found more frequently 
than others, such as (Cockles, this seeming to be a curious 
fact, the material of both being the same, namely, carbonate 
of lime and animal matter. It has, however, been shown 
that, under certain conditions, the carbonate of lime in lim- 
pets and oysters assumed the form of ccUcitey while in cockle- 
shells and their allies it took the form oi arragonite^ the mole- 
cules of the latter form being in much less stable equilibrium 
than those of the former, and consequently much more liajble 
to disappear under unfavorable circumstances. 

As an instance, showing the readiness with which human 
bones disappear, Mr. Pengelly cites the fact that the Dutch 
government in 1853 drained off the Haarlem Lake, on which 
there had been many shipwrecks and naval fights, and where 
thousands had found a watery grave. The canals and trenches 
dug t(^ a considerable depth through the rescued land must 
have had an aggregate length of thousands of miles, and yet 
not a single human bone was exhumed from .first to last. 
Some weapons and a few coins, and one or two wrecked ves- 
sels, alone rewarded the antiquaries who watched the opera- 
tions with the hope of a rich hai'vest. Here, as in cavern 
deposits and river gravels generally, works of art alone fur- 
nished evidence of the existence of man, even though no part 
of the deposit could be more than three hundred years old, 
as the lake was formed by an inundation toward the end of 
the sixteenth century. — 16 A^Jidy^ 1871, 827. 



During an investigation of the composition of the rib- 
bones of general paralytics by Mr. Brown, the conclusion was 
reached that the ratio of organic constituents to earthy mat- 
ter is much greater, and the ratio of lime to phosphoric acid 
distinctly less, in them than in the ribs of healthy adults, 
these being the same differences that exist between the com- 
position of adult large hones and those of the fetus. Whether 
this peculiarity in the ribs of paralytics is due to arrest of 
development or to a degeneration of the fully developed bone 
the author does not feel able to decide at present, but he is 
nnder the impression that both causes will be found to op- 
erate. The result of the experiments he considers rather as 
suggestive than conclusive, it being unsafe to generalize from 
so few examples. He therefore advises farther research on 
the subject, with the hope of arriving at some definite and 
final conclusion. 


In the proceedings of the Royal Society of London will be 
found a paper by Dr. Rattray upon some of the more impor- 
tant physiological changes induced in the human economy 
by a change of climate, as from temperate to tropical and the 
reverse, the inquiries being directed toward the peculiarities 
of respiration, the pulse, temperature of the body, kidneys 
and skin, and weight and strength. In regard to the subject 
of respiration, the author shows, as the result of many experi- 
ments, that in the tropics there is an increase in the capacity 
of the chest for air, with a decrease of the number of respira- 
4;ions, from which it results that the lungs, unaltered in size, 
contain less blood and more air in tropical than in temperate 
climates, the blood being in part diverted to the excited skin 
and liver. The benefit derived in the early stage of con- 
sumption by a sojourn in a tropical climate he explains in 
the following manner : " Residence in a warm atmosphere is 
followed by a decrease in the quantity of blood in the affect- 
ed lungs, by diminished activity in the vital processes car- 
ried on therein, by facilitated respiration, and, above all, by 
diminished lung-work from vicarious action of the physiolog- 
ically excited skiu and liver; while the inhalations of mUder, 


more equable, and less. irritant air diminish the chances of 
excitement and increase of distressing local inflammation, 
and those bronchial attacks so apt to break up old, and cause 
the deposition of new tubercles. Now if we can imitate na- 
ture's operations, and, by increasing the temperature of a 
sick-room or ward in the temperate climate of England, can 
convert it into a local subtropical or tropical climate, we 
withdraw no inconsiderable amount of blood from the lungs 
to the skin and liver, thus relieving itSsOverloaded capillaries, 
permitting freer access of air, and so aiding the respiratory- 
process — a safe and sure mode, both of relieving dyspnoea 
and cough, and aiding the vis medicatrix." 

This law, according to the author, is suggestive in relation 
to the nature of food and to hygiene in the tropics. He cal- 
culates that, in a tropical climate, the lungs eliminate less 
carbon to the extent of above an ounce in the twenty-four 
hours than in England. Hence he infers that in hot countries 
the diet should be less carbonaceous than at home, and that, 
independently of the diet, especial attention should be paid 
to the condition of the skin. — 20 A^ May 27, 613. 


We have already noticed an essay by Dr. Rattray upon the 
effect of change of climate upon the human economy, and in 
a concluding article of his series we find some remarks upon 
the influence of warm latitudes upon the weight and strength. 
Repeated observations have shown a decided reduction in the 
weight, the cause of this being threefold: first, a diminished 
necessity for surplus fat, which becomes absorbed ; secondly, 
that peculiar effect of heat which causes the tissues to decay 
faster in a warm climate than in a cold one ; and, thirdly, di-. 
minished lung-work and blood oxygenation, and thereby an 
imperfect renewal of the tissue. As the general conclusions 
from the entire investigation conducted by Dr. Rattray, we 
have the following summary : 1st. That the tropics, especially 
during the rainy season, should be avoided by natives of 
colder latitudes ; 2d. That the young, the debilitated, and the 
diseased should especially shun warm regions; 3d. That hone 
but fall-grown, healthy adults should go there; 4th. That 
with all, even the latter, a speedy exit should be made there- 
from when great loss of flesh and strength^ gives^ warning of 


approaching disease; 6th. That suuh injurious agencies ias 
may increase the weakening and disease-inducing influences 
of tropical climates, of themselves irremediable, sbduld be 
avoided — e,g.^ faulty >diet, overfatigue, impure air, etc. j eth* 
That to preserve health, a tropical climate should be frequent- 
ly changed for the more temperate ^one^ of higher altitudes 
or latitudes. — 20 -4, Jvly 1, 18. 


The effects of alcohol have recently been tested in London 
by experiments upon a healthy soldier. The course of treat- 
meut was as follows : For the first six days no alcohol was 
given ; for the next six days from one to eight ounces of al- 
cohol were given in divided doses ; for the next six days wa- 
ter alone ; and then for three days twelve ounces of brandy, 
containing 48 per cent, of alcohol. The results are reported 
to be as follows : No appreciable difference was perceived in 
the weight during the course of the experiments, but the tem- 
perature of the body was slightly raised. The pulse was ma- 
terially affected, rising from 77.6 beats per minute before 
taking the alcohol to d4.7 after the largest doses. 
« Estimating the normal daily work of the ventricles of the 
heart as equivalent to the lifting of 122 tons a foot, it was 
found that during the alcoholic period the heart was com- 
pelled to lift an excess of 15.8 tons, and during the last two 
days, of 24 tons. The conclusion arrived at was, that alcohol 
is utterly useless in health, and positively injurious in larger 
quantities than two ounces dajiy. There, however, seemed 
to be indicated an advantage in its usie if employed in rous- 
ing: a feeble appetite or exciting a feeble heart. — 1 -4, June 3, 


According to experiments of Meyer, neither man nor dogs 
can be fed economically upon bread alone, an immense quan- 
tity of this substance being required to prevent the body 
from undergoing waste. By the addition of a small percent- 
age of flesh, a much less amount of total weight of food will 
answer the desired object. A persistence in the bread diet 
causes the tissues of the body to become more watery, and 
the entire organization is less capable of resisting injurious 



influences. In experitaenting upon diflerlBnt kinds of bread, 
Meyer found that white wheat bread was taken up in the 
greatest amount during its passage through the alimentary 
canal ; next to this, leavened rye bread ; then the rye pre- 
pared by the Horsford process ; and, finally, the North Ger- 
man black bread. With all these diflerenccis, however, the 
first kind is said to be less satisfying to the feeling of hunger 
than the other three, and to be more expensive in every point 
of view. Meyer does not admit that bran has the nutritious 
value claimed for it by many persons, since. the nitrogenous 
compounds it contains are mingled with much non-assimila- 
ble matter.— 12 A, April 20, 497. 



Dr. Parkes, while investigating the effect of diet and exer- 
cise on the elimination of nitrogen, had for his subject a very 
healthy, powerful, and temperate young soldier. He <:;onduct- 
ed one series of experiments in which the man was .fed on or- 
dinary diet, and the amount of nitrogen-content was kept as 
hear as possible constant. In a second series prepared food 
was given so as to keep the amount of nitrogen introduced 
perfectly constant; and a third series was made with non- 
nitrogenous, food. These experiments showed distinctly an 
increased elimination of nitrogen in the period, of rest after 
severe exercise, confirming Dr. Parkes's former results, and 
supporting the statement of Liebig on this point, in opposi- 
tion to that of Voit. Whether it was diminished during ex- 
ercise or not was not clearly showa by the expi^riments. 
The non-nitrogenous diet for five days neither raised nor low- 
ered the temperature in the rectum of the patient, but appar- 
ently did not affect the health, nor did it alter the frequency 
of the puls6; but the heart's action became weak, and the 
pulse soft. The experiments proved that force necessary for 
great muscular work can be obtained by the muscle from fat 
apd star^ih, though chs^nges in the nitrogenous constituents 
of the muscles also go on, which have, as one effect, an in- 
creased elimination of nitrogen after the cessation of the 
work.t^21 :4, cTwne, 413. 



. Intestinal worms, or entozoa, are, as is well known, fre- 
quent guests of the animal body, not even excepting that of 
man, ^nd take up their abode, uninvited indeed, but none the 
less persistently, in almost every part of the system, whether 
in the intestines, the viscera, the eyeball, the brain, the mus- 
cles, or the skin. A newly discovered form of its intrusion 
appears to occur in what is called the Delhi boil, an affection 
which prevails in India, especially where impure water is 
used for ablution. The dogs drinking this water have these 
boils on the nose, while human beings are affected at the 
points where the skin is rubbed in the act of washing. A 
microscopical examination of the boil is said to show the 
presence of eggs of an intestinal worm belonging to the 
group oi Diatomata^ of which the sheep-fluke is a well-known 
representative. These appear to penetrate the skin and pro- 
duce the ulcer in question. — 12 A^ August 25, 329. 


, An Australian microsdopist corroborates 4;he statement of 
K'eumann that the net-work formed by coagulation in human 
blood can be distinguished under the microscope from that 
of the blood of other animals. If a small drop be placed on 
a microscope slide and carefully watched, at a temperature 
of fifty-five to sixty degrees it will be found to be broken up 
into a small pattern net-work, while that of other ani^lals, 
such as the calf, pig, etc., requirgs a longer time for coagula- 
tion and fills a larger pattern ; each species tested, however, 
baving its own peculiar design, is readilyi recognized under 
the microscope.; — 1 7 -4, September^ 132. 


. Mr. Perrin makes a communication to Mature in regard to 
the occasional occurrence of an eighth true rib in man, al- 
though it has been generally considered that seven form the 
absolute limit. This eighth ril^ is sometimes found on one 
side only, still more rarely on both sides, is suggested 
by Mr. Perrin that cases of this abnormal character possibly 
occur more frequently than has been suspected. The max- 
imum normal number of sternal ribs appears to be ten, but 


in the higher primates the tenth, ninth, and eighth are suc- 
cessively lost in the transition from their lower to the higher 
forms. In the camivora the sternal ribs are usually nine, al- 
though the Esquimaux dog, the arctic wolf, and the proteles 
have only eight. The common badger of Europe has tea 
true ribs. — 12 -4, 1871. 



According to Dr. Bird, the blood of the Bengalee contains 
far fewer red corpuscles than that of the European ; and it is 
to a deficiency in these corpuscles that the doctor ascribes 
the apathy of the Bengalee and his consequent subjection to 
the more sanguine European. The difference in question is 
believed to be due chiefly, if not wholly, to the circumstances 
in which the lot of each has been cast, since the inhabitants 
of swamps and jungles are supposed to be necessarily of 
lower organization than those of breezy and well-cultivated 
uplands. In farther comment upon this statement, it is re- 
marked that throughout the animal kingdom generally the 
presence of these*globules in greater or less proportions indi- 
cates a higher or lower organization, as they are absent from 
the blood of mollusks, but appear in increasing numbers at 
every upward stage in the scale of vitality, and in this way 
making one of ^e physical distinctions between man and 
woman. The moral elevation, therefore, of the Bengalee, as 
well as of woman, according to this theory, must depend 
largely upon some treatment which may tend to increase the 
amount of red corpuscles, and this is a problem which ought 
not to be difficult jof solution in this day of extended physio- 
logical discovery. — 6 -4, October 29, 1870, 559. 


Several successful operations of so-called skin-grafting have 
lately been performed in Paris and London, as well as in New 
York. This consists in transplanting portions of healthy skin 
from one part of the body to some other which is in a dis- 
eased condition. In one instance fourteen patches were trans- 
ferred on the same patient so as to produce a very great im- 
provement in her personal appearance. Care should be taken 
to transplant no fat, but only the skin, which must be accu- 


I'Si^ely applied to the granulating surface.— 6 -4, January^ 


Many curious accounts have been published. of the readi- 
ness with which the living portion of one animal can be graft- 
ed into the body of another, and continue to grow indefinitely 
afterward, so as to constitute an integral portion of the lat- 
ter. An interesting case of this kind has been published by 
"J&x, Phillipie^ux, although the experiment itself was made 
nearly twenty years ago. The gentleman in question, after 
having made an incision in the head of a young cock, intro- 
duced into it the incisor tooth of a Guinea-pig that had been 
born a few hours previously, and which, complete and fur- 
nished with^its bulb, was so placed that, the bulb being at 
the bottom of the wound, the extremity of the tooth turned 
outward. On the day the experiment was made the tooth 
was eight millimetres long and two millimetres thick, and 
when the animal was killed, ten months afterward, the total 
length of the tooth was found to measure thirteen millime- 
tres. While at the beginning of the experiment the tooth 
was completely imbedded in the incision made, at the expira- 
tion of the period mentioned it projected five millimetres 
from the surface. The interest of this experiment consists 
in the fact of a graft having been made from one animal to 
another of an entirely different class, which, of course, is more 
astonishing than the transfer of the spur of a cock to its 
comb, as made by Hunter and Sir Astley Cooper, or the 
amusing operation, said to have been performed by some 
French Zouaves, of introducing the end of the tail of a rat 
into the skin of the forehead,' and after keeping it in that po- 
sition until the juncture had taken place, cutting off a portion 
of the tail and leaving it to project from the forehead like a 
horn, thus producing an animal of such an extraordinary 
physiognomy as to have deluded a naturalist into the belief 
' that he had before him a remarkable new form of rodent. — 
12 u4,e7w/y 28,262. 

Mcdonald's theory op nervous action. 

Dr. Robert M'Donald has presented a new theory of nerv- 
ous action to the Royal Irish Academy, this being expressed 



in the words of the author as follows : " I conceive that the 
various peripheral expansions of sensitive nerves take up un- 
dulations or vibrations, and convert them into waves, capable 
of being propagated along nervous tissue (neuricity, as it has 
been named). Thust he same nerve tubule may be able to 
transmit along it vibrations differing in character, and hence 
give rise to different sensations; and, consequently, the same 
nerve tubule may, in its normal condition, transmit the wave 
which produces the idea of simple contact, or that which pro- 
duces the idea of heat ; or, again, the same nerve tubules in 
the optic nerve which propagate the undulations of red, may 
also propagate, in normal vision, those which escite the idea 
of yellow or blue, and so for other senses. I advocate this 
undulatory theory of sensation in preference to the theory of 
distinct conductors : first, because it is simple^ second, be- 
cause it is strongly supported by analogy when compared 
with wave propagations in other departments of science; 
third, because it appears to be in harmony with a large num- 
ber of recognized physiological facts, which seem inexplical^Je 
upon the theory of distinct conductors." — 5 AjJuly^ 329. 


Dr. Lauder Lindsay, in an essay which has excited some 
attention, takes the ground that the mind of the lower ani- 
mals does not differ in kind from that of man, and that they 
possess the same affections, vii*tues, moral sense, and capacity 
for education, and are liable to the same kinds of mental dis- 
orders. — 12 -4, June 29, 169. 

BAPiDrrr op mental transmissions in a nerve. 

Professor Helmholtz has made some new measurements of 
the rapidity with which excitation is propagated along the 
motor nerves of man from the brain to the muscles. The as- 
certained rapidity of the excitation varies between 260 and 
292 feet per second, and is also found to be greater in the 
summer season than in winter. This result led to a more ex- 
act observation of the influence of temperature, which was 
ascertained by the artificial cooling or warming of the arm. 
By this means the accelerating infiuence of a higher temper- 
ature has been clearly determined, so' as to show that the 
interval of time between an impulse of the voluntary, power 


and the corresponding movement of the muscle is greater in 
winter than in summer. 


Among the supposed facts relied upon to prove that the 
animal brain is a battery, which can send currents of electric^ 
ity through the nerves so as to act upon the muscles, is an 
experiment referred to by Mr. C. F. Varley, which consists in 
connecting the two terminals of a very sensitive galvanome- 
ter with separate basins of water. If a hand be placed in 
each basin, and one be squeezed violently, a positive currei^t 
is said generally to flow from that hand through the galva- 
nometer to the other hand, which is not compressed. Mr. 
Varley, however, softer various experiments, has come to the 
conclusion that the phenomenon is due to chemical action 
alone, the act of squeezing the hand violently forcing some 
of the pei*spiration out of the pores. This is proved by the 
fact that when both hands were placed in the water, and a 
little acid was dropped on one of them, a current was gener- 
ated without any muscular exertion. Mr. Varley found noth- 
^ ing to show that electricity exists in the human body, either 
as a source of motive power or otherwise, and he considers 
the feeble electricity obtained from the muscles to be due to 
the different chemical conditions of different portions of the 
muscles themselves. As the force tmnsmitted by the nerves 
is at a rate about 200,000 times slower than an electric cur- 
rent, he infers that it can not be an electric current itself. — 
Id A, March 1^161. ' * ' , ■ 


The much -talked -of method adopted by Dr. Halford, of 
Melbourne, for curing the bite of poisonous serpents, by in- 
jecting under the skin about 80 drops of liquor ammonisB, 
has not succeeded very well in experiments in India and 
some other parts of the world; In a recent communication 
Dr. Halford remarks that as the power of the ammonia inject- 
ed is expended, fresh supplies must be used, and that the 
greatest care must be taken that none of the ammonia be 
spilled, or sloughing will follow. He has changed his views 
in regard to the physiological action of the poison and of the 
remedy, to the extent that whereas formerly he thought that. 


in consequence of the entrance of the poison into the blood, a 
rapid growth of new cells occurred,'which choke and exhaost 
both the fibrin and the oxygen of the blood, and render it in- 
capable of any longer ministering to the wants of the system, 
he now thinks that the new corpuscles are only the ordinary 
. white corpuscles of the blood strangely altered and colored, 
the change in them being caused by an alteration of the me- 
dium in which they float ; this alteration being, in fact, a dis- 
appearance of the fibrin under the action of the poison. The 
ammonia, of course, in Dr. Halford's view, counteracts this 
power of the poison. — 13 Aj September 13, 319. 


A great contrariety of opinion seems to exist in regard to 
the value of Dr. Halford's method of treating snake-bites. 
The American and European physiologists who have discuss- 
ed the question, or who have repeated the experiments, ap- 
pear to attach very little value to it, but the Australian £Eio- 
ulty are quite unanimous in their indorsement. 

Professor Halford, in a recent communication, discusses the 
symptoms of 20 cases treated by his process, under the hands ^ 
of different practitioners, widely remote from each other. In 
17 cases recovery followed, and in 13 of these the practition- 
ers were of the opinion that death would certainly have en- 
sued without this counteracting agency. The treatment con- 
sists in injecting about three minims of dilute ammonia, of 
the specific gravity of .959, into a superficial vein, by piercing 
its coats with the nozzle of a hypfbdermic syringe. The cura- 
tive efiect is said to be almost immediate, and several physi- 
cians stated that the recovery from collapse was so rapid and 
startling as to be almost magical. It still remains a ques- 
tion, however, whether, notwithstanding Dr. Halford's assur- 
ances, the Australian snakes are really as venomous as those 
of America — the contrary being, it is understood, the opinion 
of Dr. Krefil, of Sydney. We await with much interest the 
result of renewed experiments in this country, and can only 
express the hope that the application may be successful in 
cases of bites of rattlesnakes and copperheads, since in the 
latest memoir on the venom of the rattlesnake, by Dr. Mitch- 
ell, of Philadelphia, he expresses the opinion positively that 
no remedy exists in cases where the poison is mature, and has 



been fairly introduced into the circulation in sufficient quan- 
tity. — 1 2 A^ September 8, 381 . 


Mr. Du Cbaillu, in the account of his travels, gives some 
interesting particulars in regard to the use, by the natives, of 
-what he calls the ordeal root of Goumbe, or the mboundou 
of the natives. A recent report upon this plant to the Paris 
Academy informs us that it is a new species of the strychnine 
group, differing somewhat from the true strychnine, as shown 
by experiments prosecuted upon frogs, in not causing rigidi- 
ty. When a very weak dose is injected under the skin of a 
frog, the poison simply produces constraint in the limbs, or a 
sort of paralysis, which, prevents it from leaping easily, and 
forces it to crawl. With a larger dose similarly introduced, 
tetanic convulsions are brought on when the animal is touch- 
ed, or when the table on which it lies is struck by the hand. 
Unlike the action of woorari, the power of muscular contrac- 
tion is not impaired when the operator excites the nerves. — 
11 AjiSepiember^ 131. 


Quite a diversity of opinion has prevailed among observers 
in regard to the true character of the poison of the scorpion, 
and the danger from wounds inflicted by it, this, perhaps, de- 
pendent to a great degree upon the difference in the species 
examined. By some its bite is thought to be more fatal than 
that of the venomous serpents ; but, on the other hand,>here 
are not wanting those who ridicule the idea of any dangerous 
consequences. In a recent paper by Jousset, the subject is 
critically investigated, and the results of experiments upon 
three species are presented. One of these, the common scor- 
pion of Europe, is dismissed by him as being entirely insig- 
nificant, on account of its small size, which scarcely exceeds 
an inch in length. A second species, the Scorpio occitanua^ 
is more than twice the length of the first mentioned, and its 
bite proved to be in many cases very serious, although not 
fatal. A third species, however, the African scorpion, which 
sometimes attains a length of from four to six inches^ our au- 
thor found not unfrequently to produce a mortal wound. As 
ia well known, the venomous apparatus of the scorpion is sit- 



uated in the end of the tail, and consists of a blackish, re- 
curved point, pierced near its tip by two small slits, which 
allow the venom to pass into the wound when inflicted. But 
even with the most venomous species the result is not an in- 
stantaneous death in the case of the larger vertebrates, a cer- 
tain length of time being required to allow the physiological 
effect of the poison to develop itself. The venom is a color- 
less and limpid liquid, acid, soluble in water, but little so in 
alcohol, insoluble in ether, and of a density a little greater 
than that of water. A microscopical examination shows it 
to be a perfectly transparent liquid, with a few epithelial cells 
and fine granules. 

When we consider the small quantity of poison which a 
scorpion can emit, scarcely the three hundredth part of a 
grain, and bear in mind that this may cause death in a large 
dog, we may well admit that the animal is in reality much 
more poisonous than even the rattlesnake, of whose veijom a 
much larger amount is usually injected into the wound. 

Our author, after narrating an extensive series of experi- 
ments, made principally upon the frog, came to the conclu- 
sion that the venom, in its poisonous influence, acts directly 
upon the red globules of the blood, and in no other way, caus- 
ing them to lose their individuality and to become agglutina; 
ted together, so as to constitute masses, which obstruct the 
entrance to the capillaries, and thus stop the circulation, ulti- 
mately producing death. This is generally uniaccompanied 
by any inflammation, the skin in the frog assuming a violet 
tint, and seeming as if injected. The particular member in- 
fected generally becomes completely rigid. — 6 J?, Sept. 5, 407; 



During some remarks at the late meeting of^e Britisli 
Association, which followed the reading of a papi 
Abbe Richard upon certain flint implements found in 
tomb at Galgula and at Mount Sinai, the Abb6 Moig] 
well-known editor ofLes Mbndes, said that he had spent' 
months of a painful and dangerous leisure given him by 
Franco-German and the civil wars in studying thorough^ 
the great and solemn question of the indefinite or very ^^^ 
mote antiquity of man, in so far as it had been proved by the 




discovery of human remains, or those of human industry, 
found in the ground at a greater or lesser depth. He had 
carefully read, or rather studied in the. most complete man- 
ner, all that had been published on that subject— the works 
of Lyell, Sir John Lubbock, Dr. Evans, Prestwich, Pengelly, 
Buchan, Yogt, Desor, Morlot, De Mortillet, etc. For many 
years he had read and followed all that had been written on 
these subjects, and he now made it his duty to declare sol- 
emnly, after this tiresome and patient study, that none of the 
discoveries, none of the facts brought forward, often wfth a 
great deal of precision, have the importance that has been at- 
tributed to them; that not only the existence of man in the 
pliocene, eocene, and miocene ages, as Dr. Evans had de- 
clared so authoritatively, is not at all proved, but that the 
quaternary soils in which human remains or remains of hu- 
man industry have been found are certainly moving soils, 
movable on declivities, as is affirmed by the eminent geolo- 
gist, M.Elie de Beaumont; that the soils of the stalagmitie 
caves, like the celebrated cave of Torquay, which so much 
occupied the attention of the British Association, have been 
overrun by water, or some other natural agent, iA such a 
manner that the layers of mud originally laid on the stalag- 
mites have slipped below them, but that even geology must 
remain quite apart from archaeology and human palaeontolo- 
gy, because its work had come to an end when man had ap- 
peared on the earth. 

He added, while requesting indulgence for the liberty he 
was taking, that the question of man, in connection with ge- 
ology or palaeontology, is exactly at the same point which 
this question had formerly : first, its relation^ with the history 
of Indian astronomy as practiced by the unfortunate Bailly, at 
the time when Laplace threw so brilliant a light on the errors 
of his illustrious fellow-laborer; second, in its relaitoils with 
the discoveries of the zodiacs of Denderah and of Esne, froni 
his investigations of which the immortal Champoilion earned 
the name of Caesar Avtocrator. The arguments in favor of the 
existence of man severalages previous to the epoch fixed by 
the Holy Bible for the creation of Adam — an epoch which it 
is, however, impossible to determine, and which can be taken 
back to 10,000 years-^had reached their maximum to-day; 
they would only decrease day by day untilthey vanished. — - 
18 A^ August 25, 563. 



Professor Duncan, in addressing the British Association 
upon the principal geological changes which have occurred 
in Europe since the appearance of man, premised that no 
trace of man has been found associated with any deposits 
formed during the glacial period in Northern Europe. The 
earliest remains of man and his works, and of the beasts as- 
sociated with him and hunted by him, rest upon these depos- 
its resulting from glacial causes, and are, therefore, later in 
time. A second period, however, of mountaiq glacialization 
took place, when the glaciers of the Alps and Pyrenees espe- 
cially extended far into the districts below them. This was 
subsequent to the existence of man, since the mud and gravel 
produced by the grinding down of the mountain sides during 
this period, and its stratification over the plains, are found to 
cover the remains of man and his works, and, therefore, to be 
of a later epoch. 

This second glacialization, and the arrangement of the 
wash, are suggested as forming a line of separation between 
the palaeolithic period, when man used rude stone weapons, 
and the neolithic period, when smooth and polished instru- 
ments were manufactured, and, in a general sense, marking 
the time when the great mammalia disappeared from the 
northern and western parts of Europe. 

Among the principal geological changes which occurred 
after the appearance of man in Europe, our author enumer- 
ates the subsidence of an area of land which connected Sicily 
with Crete and Northern Africa north of the Sahara; the 
formation of the Straits of Gibraltar ; the excavation of the 
valleys of Northern and Eastern France ; the separation of 
the coasts of France and England, in the region about Dover 
and Calais, and that of the Isle of Wight from the main land ; 
the formation of a great part of the Bristol Channel ; a con- 
siderable upheaval of the Scandinavian peninsula and Den- 
mark ; the uprise of the Desert of Sahara, in Africa, after the 
second extension of the Alpine glaciers. — 10 -4, iS^ty 440. 


In a work on the geology of France, published in 1868, the 
author, M.Baulin, took strong ground against the authentic- 


ity of certain asserted flint implements found in the fresh- 
water limestone (lower miocene) of Beauce, and which had 
been claimed to indicate the existence of man in France dur- 
ing the tertiary period. This gentleman now takes pains to 
japologize for his skepticism as previously expressed, in con- 
sequence of the careful examination to which he lias lately 
submitted both these specimens "afid the locality where they 
occur. He now considers the fact as established indisputably 
that the genus homo^ or man, did really exist at the time 
mentioned, and that we may assume as proved that it ex- 
tended through at least five successive faunas, viz. : the lime- 
stone of Beauce, or the lower miocene, the Falun, the Tou- 
raine, the pliocene or diluvium, and the modem epoch. While, 
however, entirely satisfied of the human origin of these early 
remains, he by no means assents to the idea that they be- 
longed to the present species of man, but thinks that the ex- 
istence of these remains, through such a range of formations, 
proves unquestionably that their makers must have possessed 
characteristics in structure of special peculiarity ; and since 
the genus rhinoceros occurs in these same five successive 
faunas^ represented in each by distinct and successive spe- 
cies, which, whether evolved one from the other, or the sub- 
ject of as many distinct creations, yet exhibit strongly- 
marked differences, he suspects that the species of the genus 
man in all probability also varied in like manner. M. Raulin 
expressly desires that his remarks on this subject may not 
be taken as asserting a belief in the transformation of these 
different species pf man one firom another, or as to the de- 
scent of the older species from a common stock with that of 
the primitive monkey ; but he thinks that, as we have no 
means of judging the characteristics of the tertiary man ex- 
cepting by the rude implements he has left, should his re- 
mains ever be discovered, the present suggestions on his part 
will be thoroughly substantiated. — 1 J?, August 14, 152. 


An interesting communication was presented by Dr.Wei- 
gert, before an industrial society in Pi'ussia, upon the products 
of spinning and weaving discovered in the pile dwellings of 
Switzerland, in which he showed that even in the stone period 
flax was cultivated in large quantity, and worked up in the 


most varied fabrics, including the making of thread, ropes, 
etc. Remains of spinning-wheels of stone and clay are very- 
abundant, as also the relics of the manufactured articles 
themselves. Plaited fabrics, which served as mats, coverlets, 
and wallSj showed the extended use of this branch of manu- 
facture. Tlie remains of spindles proved conclusively that 
the art of weaving was krioWn to these people, and that they 
used a loom with the chain standing vertically instead of 
horizontally. An important conclusion was denved from this 
fact by the author in regard to the development of civiliza- 
tion on the part of these people ; since of the two methods, 
namely, whether the chain is horizontal or vertical, the former 
has been peculiar to India and Egypt from the earliest period, 
while the latter was used among the Greco-Italian nations, a 
proof that the European culture was not influenced by Afnca 
and Asia until it had itself made considerable progress. — 14 
(7, CXCVIIL, 308. 


Of late years many discoveries have been made in regard 
to the habits and characteristics of the aborigines inhabiting 
the coasts of North America prior to the time of Columbus 
by careful examination of the artificial heaps of refuse shells, 
bones, etc., accumulated in the vicinity of their villages. The 
published i*esearches of Professor Wyman and others have 
proved full of interest ; and as the subject continues to ex- 
cite the attention of American archaeologists, we doubt not 
that much now hidden will yet be brought to light. As these 
deposits are usually on or very near the sea, they are much 
exposed to the wiearing of the waves ; indeed, their discovery 
is usually due to exposure of a section by this influence. For 
this reason, it is of importaiice that the examinations in ques- 
tion should be prosecuted before the heaps have entirely dis- 
appeared, as a large proportion will probably not outlive the 
next half century. "We learn that a careful search on the 
shores of Kent and Northumberland counties, on the eastern 
coast of New Brunswick, has shown that, in consequence of 
the wearing away of the soft sandstone shale of the coast for 
many rods, all traces of the shell deposits, believed to have 
once existed in abundance, have now entirely vanished. 



Many of our readers are familiar with the magnificent 
work of Messrs. Lart^t and Christy, entitled " Reliquiae Aqui- 
tani»," principally embracing illustrations and descriptions 
of the remarkable relics of pre-historic times found in the cav- 
erns of Aquitaine and other parts of France. It is among 
these remains, for instance, that occur the curious engrav- 
ings, by men of the reindeer period; of various animals with 
which they were contemporaneous, the most remarkable be- 
ing one of what is believed to be intended to represent the 
hairy mammoth of that period. Quite recently other remains 
of a similar character have been brought to light from the 
same locality, one of the most noticeable being an engraving 
on a reindeer's horn, representing a male bison pursued by a 
naked man, the latter grasping the animal by the tail with 
one hand, and with the other plunging a lance into its body. 
The drawing of the man is said to be the best illustration of 
the " humanity" of the period that has hitherto been discov- 
ered. The absence of clothing is believed to prove that he 
habitually went naked. The head is brachycephalic, with 
hair standing stiffly on the cranium, and there is a short, 
pointed beard on the chin. — 3 Cy October 8,913.' 



At a late meeting of the Statistical Society of London, ac- 
cording to Nature, Mr. Hyde Clarke read a paper upon the • 
" Transmissibility of Intellectual Qualities in England." As 
one test of this question, he took the statistics of writers of 
books- in the " Biographia Britannica," and ascertained that 
of 2000 authors, 750 were born ia country districts and 1260 
in towns. Examining the towns and the distribution in 
them, 333 were allotted to Loudon, 73 to Edinburgh, and 63 
to Dublin. The largest numbers beyond these were found 
in cathedral and collegiate cities. The deductions he drew 
were, that intellectual activity is distributed unequally, but 
that it is more among the town or more highly educated pop- 
ulation than among the rural. He pointed out that the larger 
the concentrated educated population, thci larger is the intel- 
lectual development ; and he referred to the like examples of 
Greece, Rome, and modern Europe, where the same, law is to 


be traced. The great modem centres of industry in England 
occupy a low relative position in the list, and are scarcely to 
be noticed, but they are now beginning to contribute. He 
affirmed that the literary class was produced from the edu- 
cated class, and not from the illiterate classes. While no ed- 
ucational effort will produce men of great genius, he inferred 
that literary attainments are in relation to literary culture, 
or the culture of the educated classes ; and that, by extend- 
ing education to other classes of the population, the intel- 
lectual capacity of the community will be extended and prop- 
agated within certain limits.-^12 A, June 22, 154. 


In a communication to the Academy of Sciences of Paris 
Mr. Lenormant calls attention to the fact that the common 
cat was introduced into Egypt at a comparatively late pe- 
riod ; so much so, indeed, that it is not mentioned at any 
time in the Bible, and it is believed to be without a generic 
name in Hebrew. It was unknown to the Assyrians and 
Babylonians, and in their peculiar nomenclature the lion and 
the panther were referred to the dogs for want of a different 
point of comparison among their domestic animals. It was 
not until the Semite period that we find any pictorial illus- 
trations of this animal. Tardy as was its introduction, how- 
ever, into Egypt, it seems to have been still later in getting 
into Greece and Rome, delineations of it being entirely want- 
ing on the monuments of these countries. Its place as an 
exterminator of rats was supplied among the Greeks by the 
fitch-marten, or European polecat, while the Romans made 
use of another species of weasel for the same purpose. Ac- 
cording to Professor Pictet,the names of the cat, in all the 
European languages, do not belong to the earlier period of 
the Aryan language, but are of a recent date, and derive 
their origin from the Latin catua. As a domestic animal, 
nevertheless, the cat was of decided antiquity in India, even 
if unknown to the primitive Aryans. — 6 B^JVbv. 21, 738. 


According to Mr. Lenormant, the pig was not known as a 
domestic animal in the primitive civilization of Egypt. It is 
not mentioned in the text either of the ancient or of the mid- 


die empire, while figures of it are entirely wanting on the 
monuments of these two great periods of Egyptian culture. 
At that time, however, the pig, in its wild state, must have 
been abundant in the marshes of Lower Egypt, where it still 
occurs, and Supplies food to many of the Mussulman fellahs, 
in spite of the prohibitory precepts of the Koran. The lack 
of figures of the wild boar in the ancient Egyptian monu- 
ments is perhaps to be explained by the idea of absolute 
impurity which the Egyptian religion attached to the wild 
and domestic pig preventing them from considering it as 
either game to be pursued or flesh to be eaten. But at a 
later period of Egyptian culture the animal makes its appear- 
ande in the monuments of the country, although not prior to 
the time of the eighteenth dynasty, during which drawings 
of pigs were represented upon the rural scenes, and painted 
upon the walls of the tombs. — 6 J5, Dec. 12, 849; Dec. 19, 962. 


Our readers may be perhaps aware of the efforts made in 
the IVench West Indies to exterminate or reduce the num- 
bers of poisonous serpents abounding in those islands, prin- 
cipally by the introduction of the mungoose, and by allowing 
the common bog to run wild. A similar. attempt at antag- 
onizing an inconvenient development of animal life, in the 
form of droves of rats, has lately taken place in the Laccadive 
Islands, a group situated in latitude 12° north and longitude 
2° east. These are coral islands, in which the rats were not 
indigenous, but were introduced by their escaping from cer- 
tain vessels wrecked on the shores. They have now multi- 
plied to an enormous extent, and have become most incon- 
venient pests. On one of the islands, where a few years ago 
thirty or forty thousand eggs of gulls could be gathered in 
a few hours, the birds have been entirely exterminated or 
driven away by their four-footed enemies. 

The use of dogs being inadmissible on account of the re- 
ligious prejudices oi the native inhabitants, the experiment 
was made of transporting fifty mungoose, which were placed 
on some of the islands, and fifty East Indian snakes, which 
were introduced on others, the two not being brought to- 
gether on account of their mutual antipathy. It is expected 
that both will multiply in the course of a few years so as to 


thin out or exterminate the rats ; and, as the serpents are 

perfectly harmless, it is not believed that their presence in 
any number will be at all injurious, especially as in the ab- 
sence of abundant prey they would starve out in a short 
time. The mungoose again, being a conspicuous animal, can 
be easily reduced in number or entirely destroyed when their 
services cease to be of use, their habits also being such as to 
keep them more readily under the eye and control of-man, 
thereby enabling him to destroy them at pleasure. — 2 -4, 


According to Professor Owen, who has examined animal 
remains from the cavern of Bruniquel, the hum-an bones show 
most affinity with the Celtic types, the cranium being oval 
and rather dolicocephalous than brachycephalous in general 
proportion. The cranial capacity corresponds to that of un- 
educated Europeans of Celtic origin, and exceeds that of the 
average of Australian aborigines. 

Professor Owen, referring to certain carvings on the ani- 
mal bones accompanying the remains, says that some of them 
are pictures of the heads of horses, and show much artistic 
skill. They represent an animal with short pointed ears, the 
stallions having beard-like hairs. The tails of the horses also 
appear to have been short, and furnished with long hairs to 
their base instead of having these hairs form a kind of tufl 
nearer the end of the tail. Professor Owen finds no evidence 
any where of an aboriginal wild horse resembling that of the 
present day, no remains of the kind existing in any museum ; 
and it is probable that the delineations of the cave horse of 
Bruniquel represent all that we are likely to know x>f the 
form of the primitive stock from which the present horse is 
descended.-^4 2>, L., 423. 


Some of our readers may be interested in an account of a 
curious monstrosity in the hoof of a horse, as reported in the 
Proceedings of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal. In this 
animal a supernumerary digit was formed on each fOre foot, 
incased in an asymmetrical hoof, a similar condition occur- 
ring on the hind foot, but with less regularity. This apeci- 


men recalls very vividly the peculiar condition of the hoof in 
the extinct genus Hipparion^ which, according to many writ- 
ers, ift one of the original ancestors of the genus to which the 
modem horse belongs. — 12 A^ November 16, 394. 


It is a fact well known to naturalists that in many cases 
where a full-grown animal is marked by the absence of cer- 
tain organs or appendages found in the majority of its class, 
they exist in a normal condition in the fetal stage. This id 
shown in the occurrence of teeth in the jaws of the young 
whale (which are totally wanting after birth), the incisor 
teeth of the fetal rodent, the existence of eyes on both sides 
of the head in the young flounder, etc. A new instance of 
this general principle has been recently announced in regard 
to the European mole, the adult of which is usually consid- 
ered to be blind. The fetal mole, however, according to Mr. 
Lee, in a late paper, is endowed with organs of vision, which 
at the time of birth are of considerable perfection, but in ad- 
vancing age certain changes take place in the base of the 
skull, which terminate in the destruction of the most impor- 
tant structures on which the enjoyment of the sense of sight 
depends. — 5 -4, October^ 1870, 446. 


The female hippopotamus at the Zoological Gardens of 
London not long since gave birth to a young one, which, we 
regret to say, died a few days afterward, making the eighth 
case in which births of this animal have occurred in Europe 
— all of them dying, with a single exception, before reaching 
maturity. This one, born in Amsterdam, was almost equally 
unfortunate, as it was destroyed many years ago at the burn- 
ing of the Crystal Palace in New York. A post-mortem ex- 
amination of the case first mentioned showed that it must 
have' had chronic peritonitis before birth, as its stomach and 
liver were adherent to the peidtoneum. — 20 A^ March 4, 253. 


The statement that the horn of the rhinoceros is deciduous^ 
or, at least, can be reproduced when accidentally lost^ has 
been confirmed lately at the Zoological Gardens in London. 


One of the animals, a male Indian rhinoceros, had been in the 
habit of trying to raise a transverse bar keeping him off from 
the pen of the female, and this was attempted at one time 
with so great violence as to tear the horn entirely off. Con- 
siderable loss of blood ensued, which, however, was soon 
stopped, and the sui*face healed. Soon after indications were 
observed of the formation of a new horn, which, at the date 
of the account, had already attained a height of one and a 
half inches. The old horn was about twelve inches high, 
and its base eight and a half inches in the long diameter and 
five and a half across. — 11 Ay Jan, 3, 1871, 9. 


The announcement of the presentation to one of the Eng- 
lish museums of a narwhal having two tusks instead of the 
one usually occurring has elicited some interesting commu- 
nications from various parties in reference to the habits of 
this animal. Mr. Gray, in Ijand and Water, states that the 
narwhal is gregarious, and quite abundant in the northern 
seas, the males and females being usually in separate herds. 
They are said to be ground feeders, living mostly upon cut- 
tle-fish, their stomachs being commonly full of the remains 
of this animal. They, however, feed also upon the different 
kinds of true fishes. Mr. Gray thinks that the horns of the 
males are used for stirring up the mud while searching for 
food as well as for weapons of defense. One observed by 
him had a horn eight feet in length, and on being struck he 
ran at the boat and drove his hom through its side into the 
thwart, where it broke short off, leaving about six inches in 
the boat. The flesh is said to be quite good for food, being 
tender and of a gamy flavor. It is preferred by the Esqui- 
maux to any other kind of food. — 2 -4, February 11, 104. 


A large number of fossil mammals are only known from 
the teeth and bone of the lower jaw, these being preserved 
when no other trace (of the head at least) remains. This is 
especially the case with the small marsupial mammals, found 
in the mesozoic rocks of Great Britain, where, out of 10 gen- 
era and 25 species, based upon numerous specimens, not more 
than half a dozen series of teeth of the upper jaw have been 
discovered, and no crania. — 6 A, JvHy^ 321. 



Much interest has been excited in Europe by the discov- 
ery in Holland of extensive beds of remains of cetaceans and 
other nlarine veitebrates, as many as 8 new genera and 16 
new species having been secured, together with the walrus 
and the remains of seals. The collection is in charge of the 
Vicomte du Bus, who is preparing a report for publication. — 
12 Ay November 16, i392. 


At a meeting of the Natural History Society of Montreal 
the discovery was announced, by Mr. Billings, of the nearly 
complete skeleton of a fossil whale at Cornwall, Ontario 
County, at about 60 feet above the level of the St. Lawrence. 
It is believed by Mr. Billings that this fossil is identical with 
one obtained in Vermont by Professor Thompson, in a rail- 
way cutting about 12 miles south of Burlington, and called 
Beluga vermontana. This is closely allied to the white 
whale of the St. Lawrence, though differing in some special 


Palaeontologists are aware of a work on the fossil mammals 
of South America, published by a Frenchman named Seguin, 
and containing descriptions of various species of Megatheri- 
um, Megalonyx, Glyptbdon, Chlamydotherium,Toxodon, etc. 
We learn from a paragraph in our exchanges that this entire 
collection — one of the finest ever made in the La Plata region 
— ^has been offered to the French government on condition 
that it will refiind the expenses incurred in gathering it, and 
defray the carriage to France. We presume that advantage 
will be taken of the offer, and the collection be ultimately 
carried to Paris.-^2 A, August 6, 8S. 


Professor Duns, of Edinburgh, in a paper " On the Rarer 
Raptorial Birds of Scotland," presents the following proposi- 
tions : 1. That species occur in pairs, after long intervals, in 
localities where they have long since ceased to breed, but 
where they have been at one time not uncommon. 2. The 


geographical range of stragglers seems to widen with the 
lapse of time. 3. Certain species have greatly increased in 
recent times over wide districts where they were compara- 
'tively rare. 4. Year by year the raptorial birds of Scotland 
ai'e becoming fewer. 

He remarked also that by a compaiison of Sibbald's list of 
birds in '^ Scotia Illustrata," 1684, with other authorities, he 
had aiTived at the conclusion that most of the larger rapto- 
rial birds were rapidly disappearing from Scotland, and that 
even the smaller forms, which were common in the southern 
and central districts, were yearly becoming rarer. He also 
expressed his opinion that both the farmer and the game pre- 
server would lose much when, between them, they succeeded 
in destroying all the hawks and owls. — 12 A^Aug, 24,333. 


. The subject of variation of color in birds, as expressing 
specific distinctions, has for a long time occupied the atten- 
tion of ornithologists ; and while, with some, the slightest 
difference in shade was sufficient to establish a separate spe- 
cies, a wide variation is allowed by others without affecting 
the idea of specific identity. We are gradually, however, 
coming to appreciate the influence which external conditions, 
such as light or shade, moisture or dryness, varying tempera- 
ture, latitude, etc., produce upon color, and so long as the 
general pattern remains the same we can allow a great vari- 
ation in tint, and even in size, since, as is well known, this 
depends largely upon latitude or altitude of birthplace and 
residence. As a general rule, it m^y be said that as we go 
southward from a north-temperate latitude, with the increas- 
ing temperature and brighter sky the colors are deeper and 
the size less ; and, on the other hand, in proceeding northward 
and into more clouded atmospheres, the dimensions become 
greater, with a decrease in general brilliancy. In sandy or 
barren regions the accompanying birds become of a grayish 
tint, while in red soils a reddish shade will be appreciable. 

* Again, in certain regions, the birds exhibit a tendency to 
melanism, or a blackening, this being noticeable in Florida, 
and more especially in the West India Islands, as compared 
with the United States. An instance of this is seen in the 
common red- winged blackbird, the female of '^hich, as found 


in the United States, is variegated with brown, yellowish, 
and grayish streaks, the male alone' being a glossy black, 
with red shoulders. A blackbird is found in Cuba, however, 
the male of which is undistinguishable from our bird, except- 
ing in the smaller size, while the female is of a uniform lus- 
trous black, differing only from the male in the absence of. 
red upon the shouldei-s. Similar comparative peculiarities 
are presented in quitei a number of West Indian birds. 


It is stated that the eggs of the common hen, as well as 
those of many other bjrds, pi*esent certain external character- 
istics by means of which it is possible to determine before- 
hand the sex to be hatched from them. Thus the " male" 
egg has, at its pointed end, small folds and wrinkles, while 
the " female" egg is entirely smooth, and well I'ounded off at 
both ends. — 10 C, March 1, 1 870, 42. 


Ornithologists are well aware that certain kinds of sea-fowl 
belonging to the petrel £iimily are in the habit of disgorging 
a quantity of oil when captured, and that this furnishes in 
large part the food with which they supply their young. 
Many of these species excavate a burrow in the earth, in 
which their single ^%% is laid, and the young bird, when 
hatched, is left for a long time while the parents are abroad 
occupied in the business of procuring food. The oil in ques- 
tion, according to some, is obtained from dead and floating 
cetaceans or fish; according to othero it is a regular secre- 
tion. In either case the amount is so great that the inhabit- 
ants of the island of StKilda are in the habit of hunting the 
Falmar petrel for the purpose of catching it and causing it 
to disgorge this oil, which- is done by dipping the bill of the 
bird into, a small leather bag suspended to the waist. The 
amount obtained in this way is sufficiently great to furnish 
an article of export, and it is suggested that it may probably 
possess virtues corresponding to those of the cod-liver oil. 
A i*ecent investigation shows that it is soluble in ether, and 
much less so in alcohol, and has other reactions which place 
it ^ide by side with the cod-liver oil. — 17 -4, DecembeTj 187. 



According to a German aathor, the chick, at the moment 
of escape from the egg, weighs about two thirds as much as 
the original egg. If, therefore, it is desirable to have strong 
and large chicks, it is necessary to see that only the heaviest 
eggs are hatched. The average weight of hens' eggs may be 
estimated at about ten to the pound ; some weigh consider- 
ably more, and others much less than this proportion. By 
pains in selecting large eggs, it will be possible, according to 
the usual theory of selection for breeding, to secure a race 
of chickens of large size. — 9 (7, e/wwe, 45. 



A contemporary gives an interesting ac<50unt of the tooth- 
billed or dodo pig:eon {DidunGultes atrigirostris) lately sent to 
London from the Samoan Islands, and we may perhaps sup- 
plement that account by mentioning the fact that this bird 
was first collected by the naturalists of the United States Ex- 
ploring Expedition under Captain Wilkes, and described by 
Mr. Titian R. Peale, the veteran zoologist. Two specimens 
were brought back by Captain Wilkes, one of themTiow con* 
tained in the collections of the National Museum undef the 
charge of the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, the 
other belonging to the Museum of the Academy of Natural' 
Sciences, Philadelphia. The species is, as stated in the atti- 
cle referred to, nearly extinct, and will probably be en^jirely 
exterminated in a few years, when it will take its place with 
the great auk, the dodo, and many other species that have 
disappeared from the surface of the earth within the histor- 
ical pei'iod. The resemblance of the bill of this bird to that 
of the dodo is quite marked, and by studying its character 
naturalists were led to refer the giant dodo to the pigeon 
family, and not to that of the vultures, as had been previously 


The ostrich has usually been considered as peculiar to the 
continent of Africa, where two species have been recognized, 
one belonging to the northern portions, the other to the bo- 
gions nearer the Cape of Good Hope. Curiously enough, 



these species were for a long time considered to be the same, 
and their distinctness was first suggested by the marked dif- 
ference in the texture of the egg. In a I'ecent work by Haiir 
laub and Finsch on the birds of Eastern Africa, it is shown 
that, contrary to the general assumption, the ostrich, proba- 
bly that of Northern Africa, if not, indeed, a third species, 
was known at a very remote period in Central Asia, and per- 
haps even in India; and that at the present time it occurs 
wild in Syria, Arabia, and Mesopotamia, where, in fact, it was 
mentioned by the earliest writers, among them Herodotus, 
Aristotle,Diodorus, etc.— 17 (7,1870,380. 


The many efibrts made in Europe to breed ostriches in a 
state of captivity have finally resulted in success, the Zoo- 
logical Garden of Florence being the happy possessor at the 
present time of several healthy young birds. The stock con- 
sisted originally of one* male bird, and of one old and one 
'young female. One set of eggs was laid in 1868, but these 
did not hatch. In March of 1869 the laying commenced 
anew, and first one female and then the other deposited her 
eggs in the same nest until the number amounted to ten. 
These were then brooded upon in the daytime by the male, 
and in his absence occasionally by the older female, the 
younger one showing great "reluctance to approach the nest 
excepting at night and in the colder weather, when the eggs 
were divided among the three, each brooding over its share. 
In the morning, however, when the females left their nests, 
the male bird drew to himself, with his bill, the eggs which 
had been covered by the older feiiiale. The younger one, 
however, always took up a position so far from the others 
that the male bird could not reach her eggs, and the attend- 
ants of the museum were obliged to push them near to him. 
The brooding lasted until the 27th of June, when the female 
remained quietly sitting on the eggs, the male running around 
the park in a very vicious manner. In a short time five os- 
triches made their appearance around the old bird, the re- 
maining eggs producing nothing. One of the five young 
birds died, apparently from overeating, but the remaining 
four were in good condition at the latest report, and likdy to 
attain maturity. Should it be found practicable to raise os- 



tricbes in a state of domeatication without too much trouble 

and expense, the broods may be rendered of much pecuniary 
value, since the plumes alone of the male birds will bring a 
price so great as to yield a handsome return, and the remain- 
ing feathers of the Irody generally of both sexes can be turned 
to economical account. How far ostriches can be utilized in 
civilized countries as animals of draught and beasts of bur- 
den, as they are said to be employed jn. Africa, remains to be 
tried. — 1 (7, xxxl, 4$9. 



The preceding article has reference to the subject of the 
breeding of ostriches in captivity in Europe, and we are re- 
minded that this is a practice of common occurrence in South 
Africa, where large numbers are kept for the purppse, of se- 
curing successive crops of their feathers, and are inclosed in 
areas* of fifteen to twenty acres, encircled by low stone walls. 
Their eggs are usually hatched artificially by being kept at 
a temperature of about 100 degrees by the aid of an oil lamp. * 
The long white feathers of the wings of the male birds are 
the most valuable, bringing from |160 to |200 a pound, eighty 
feathers usually making up this weight. The feathers from 
the wild birds are, however, considered more valuable .than 
those taken on the farms. 

marey's apparatus for recording the flight of birds. 

.. Much interest was excited by the account given a year or 
two ago by Professor Marey of the phenomena of flight in 
birds and insects, as illusti^ted by apparatus devised by hina, 
which actually traced on paper the curve described by the 
point of the wing in flying. The professor, during the dis- 
turbances caused by the late war in France, was steadily oc- 
cupied in continuing his researches, and presented to the 
Academy of Sciences, some months since, a continuation of 
his series of communications, in which he discusses the move- 
ment which the action of the wing produces upon the body 
of the bird itself. He shows that the progression of the bird 
when flying, in consequence of the beating of its wings, takes 
place along an undulating line, the sinuosities of which are 
produced by the slight leaps of the animal. These move- 
ments can in certain cases be appreciated by the eye, as when 


watching the movement of gulls following a vessel at sea, 
and regulating their motion by the speed of the vessel. It is 
Yery difficult, however, according to Mi*. Marey, to ascertain 
to what movement of the wing these displacements of the 
body of the bird correspond; and the determination of the 
periodical variation of the quickness in the movement for- 
ward of the bird is impossible by means of our senses. To 
accomplish this object, the author has added to his previous 
apparatus, an arrangement for noting and recording these 
movements with, absolute precision ; and from a critical study 
of the indications, he comes to 'the conclusion that, on regis-* 
tering simultaneously both the vertical oscillations of the 
bird and the movements of the wing, it will be found that 
each revolution of the wing is accompanied by two complete 
oscillations of the bird — one of these coinciding with the de- 
pression of the wing, and the other with its elevation. He 
also finds, from the investigation bestowed upon the indica- 
tions of the instrument, that in depressing its wings the bird 
is .raised, to fall again at the end of this period of depression, 
while at the same time the bird accelerates its horizontal ve- 
locity. In raising the wing the bird rises anew, again to fall 
back, and in the second period it loses much of its horizontal 
velocity;, and this latter fiict gives the clew to^ the mechan- 
ism of the second ascension, showing that this ascent is made 
at the expense of the velocity acquired by a mechanism anal- 
ogous to that of the boy's kite, which, moving against the air, 
and presenting against it an inclined plane, is elevated at the 
expense of the horizontal force applied to it. The experi- 
ments of the author have satisfied him that this second as- 
cent is wanting when the bird at the end of its flight has 
not acquired a velocity at the expense of which it can be 

In a subsequent notice Mr. Marey promises to exhibit the 
result of attempts made by him to reproduce synthetically 
the mechanism of flight; that is to say, for the purpose of 
realizing by means of a weighty apparatus the efiect of sus- 
tainment in the air, and of the horizontal forward motion 
which the bird obtains by the action of its wings. — 6 JS, xiv., 



Much interest was excited some time ago by the announce- 
ment of the occurrence of a peculiar red coloring matter, con- 
taining copper, and soluble in water, on the wings of the tou- 
raco {Muaophaga)^ a large species of African bird well known 
to naturalists. M. Jules Verreaux, the ornithologist, has late- 
ly given an account of these birds as observed by hini in their 
native localities, in the course of which he remarks that his 
attention was first attracted to the soluble nature of the tou- 
Vaco red in endeavoring to catch a wounded bird during a 
rain. To his surprise, on grasping it, there was left on the 
palm of his hand a peculiar matter of a blood-red color, 
which, however, disappeared on washing. He then found 
that the red of the wing, under such circumstancjBS, was 
washed out, and the feathers became. almost white ; but that, 
as soon as the bird became perfectly dry, the red color imme- 
diately reappeared. This experiment was repeated, on the 
same bird, several times a day indefinitiely, and always with 
the same resist M. Verreaux also remarks that he has ob- 
served a similar fact in regard to a species of Old -World 
trogon, although it is not known whether the American rep- 
resentatives of the group have the same peculiarity. — 11 -4, 
c/an. 3,1871,40. 


Instances are abundant where one bird secures its food by 
plundering another, and depriving it of prey just captured, 
thus being able to live itself in idleness upon the labors of its 
victim. Illustrations of this are seen* in the treatment of the 
fish-hawk by the bald eagle, the impositions practiced by the 
jagers upon the gulls and terns, the theft of the celery-grass 
roots by the bald-pated ducks from the canvas-backs, etc. 
An interesting communication from Mr. Hudson, of Buenos 
Ayres, to the Zoological Society of London, in reference to 
the habits of the Larua cirrhocephcduSy a South American spe- 
cies of gull, informs us that this species, like the gulls about 
Salt Lake, is in the habit of congregating in large numbers 
in the cultivated fields, following the plowmen, and devour- 
ing the locusts, or other insects so abundant in that country, 
which are turned up by the plow. At a certain season of the 


year the ground is filled with the larvae of the giant beetle, 
which throws up little mounds of earth, these being often so 
numerous as to give the plains, where the grass is very closely 
cropped, the appearance of being covered with mud. ; These 
insects are picked out in great numbers by flocks of the South 
American lapwing, or plover {VaneUus cayennensis), upon 
which the gulls, not being endowed with a probing bill, wait 
assiduously, each plover having its attendant gull quietly 
standing by it. At the instant when one of these larvas is 
extracted, and is seeii in the bill of the plover, the gull darts 
with sudden fuiy upon it, and a chase ensues, the robber fol- 
lowing closely, and screaming all the time until the prize is 
dropped. The flight of the gull is then instantly checked, 
and, hovering a moment to watch the fall of the worm, he 
drops suddenly upon it, and, swallowing it greedily, he re- 
turns to reisume his position, and again watch by the side of 
his victim. This same species of gull is in the habit of fre- 
quenting the slaughter-grounds near the city, and mingling 
among the cattle and the men, without manifesting t^he slight- 
est fear, ready at any time to pick up the clotted blood and 
entrails, and yet seldom, if ever, receiving a speck to stain its 
pure white breast. — 1 1 -4, Jan. 3,1871,6. 


The question of the antiquity of remains of giant birds 
found in New Zealand, and known among the natives as the 
moa, received a few years ago an additionalzest by the dis- 
covery of a skeleton containing portions of the ligaments, 
fikin, and feathers still attached. This forms one of the treas- 
ures of the museum at York, and was. found in the interior of 
the province of Otago. 

Dr. Hector, in a communication to Nature^ announces the 
discovery of a second specimen of the same character, being 
the cervical vertebra of the moa, apparently of the very largest 
size, upon the posterior aspect of which the skin, partially 
covered with feathers, is stfll attached by the shriveled mus-* 
cles«and ligaments. He also informs us that all the facts con- 
nected with the discovery of this moa in New Zealand tend 
to show that their extermination was due largely to human 
agencies, and that there seemed to be a special class of na- 
tives, known as moa-hunters, who were occupied in their pur- 


suit. Numerous localities have been discovered where the 
bones of the moa remain in inimense profusion, all more or 
less mutilated^ split, or charred, as the result of human agen< 
cy, and usually accompanied by native implements of stone, 
some of which are of great perfection of finish. In addition, 
however, to the destruction of these birda by the natives, an- 
other cause that tended to their extermination has doubtless 
come into play, namely, that of the forest fires that so fre- 
quently occur in Kew Zealand and elsewhere. On numerous 
occasions, masses of moa bones, belonging to large numbers 
of skeletons, have been found in localities where the birds 
seemed to have been hemmed in so as to be unable to escape. 
These places consist mainly of spurs of the hills, jutting to a 
considerable distance out into the lakes, where it is probable 
the birds congrdgated to escape the fiames, which, by ap- 
proaching near them, destroyed them by sufibcation, in con- 
sequence of their unwillingness to enter the water. Dr. Hec- 
tor himself found at the southwest extremity of a triangular 
plain, by the side of the Wakatipn Lake, no less than thirty- 
seven of such skeleton heaps, situated precisely as just indi- 
cated. — 12 -4, JuLy 6, 188. 


It is announced in Nature that foot-prints of the moa have 
lately been detected in a new district in the province of 
Auckland, near the settlement of Gisborae, Poverty Bay. 
The slabs in which the impressions were found were about 
five feet below a deposit of salt and^alluvium, which had been 
washed away by the action of the water, leaving visible the 
stone in which the foot-prints were found very plainly in- 
dented, and following each other in regular succession. The 
length of the foot-mark, from the heel to the tip of the centre 
toe, was nearly eight inches ; the length of the stride twenty 
inches from heel to heel. — 12 -4, August 24,324. 


At the January meeting of the Zoological Society in Lon- 
don, a communication was presented from Mr. John Wallace 
upon a hitherto unobserved peculiarity of the homed toad, or 
Fhrynosoma, of California. This animal, according to his 
statement, under certain circumstances (apparently as a mode 



of self-protection) squirts out from one of its eyes a jet of 
bright red liquid very much like blood. This he observed 
three times in as many different individuals, although others 
did not present any peculiarity. They generally use this 
means of defense when first captured, the liquid being squirt- 
ed a distance of six inches in one instance. This statement, if 
it be really a fact, has, as far as we know, no confirmatipn by 
any corresponding observation on the part of any of our 
American naturalists, and we commend the consideration 
of it to such as reside where this animal can be obtained. 
The species is not indicated, but the observations were made 
in the vicinity, of Stockton, California. — 11 A^ January 3, 


The precise position of the pterodactyls, or the so-called 
fossil or flying dragons, has been a subject of much discus- 
sion among paLseontologists, some referring them to- the tep- 
tiles, and others to the bif ds, while others, again, have consid- 
ered them as belonging to a distinct type of creation inter- 
mediate between the two. Professor Seeley, of Cambridge, 
who has recently given the subject a very critical examina-. 
tion, sums up the evidence by saying that the pterodactyls 
had a nervous system of the bird type ; they had a kind of 
brain which exists only in association with a four-celled heart 
and hot blood, which it would necessarily produce ; and with 
that respiratory organization is always associated a brain of 
the type that the pterodactyl is found to possess. Therefore 
he concludes that the general plan of the most important of 
the soft structures was similar to that of living birds. He 
finds, however, that these characteristics are associated* with 
such a diversity of other details as to vindicate the propriety 
of placing. them in a new group, of equal valae with birds, 
and called Ornithosawria. — 5 A^ Jvly^ 1870, 293. 


We announced some time ago the desire of Professor Phil- 

•lips, of Oxford, to obtain the ratio of the weight to the length 

of living alligators and crocodiles, as stated in Land and 

Water. This journal has since presented several responses to 

the query, and from one of them we learn that a North Amer- 


ican alligator of 8 feet 6 inches in length weighed 135 pounds, 
while one of 2 feet 3 inches weighed only 2^ pounds. — 2 -4, 
December 11^ lS10y4:i5. 


In the American Journal of Science for June, Professor O. 
C. Marsh, of Yale College, has an article on some new- fossil 
reptiles discovered by the Yale party last summer in the 
Rocky Mountain region. The cretaceous fossils described 
are of great importance, as they prove conclusively that the 
mosasauroid reptiles had a well-developed pelvic arch and 
posterior limbs, although up to the present time no satisfac- 
tory evidence of this had been discovered, and the emkient 
palaeontologists who have recently made this group an espe- 
cial study considered them probably destitute of these ap- 
pendages. Some of the species discovered by Professor Marsh 
were much more attenuated than any hitherto described. 
One of them, which is named Clidaates wym^zni, was about 
thirty feet in length, and had the terminal caudal vertebrae 
less than one twelfth of an inch in transverse diameter. 

In the same paper are notices of several new species of ter- 
tiary crocodiles from Wyoming, which were discovered in the 
same ancient la]se basin as the serpents and lizards already 
described by Professor Marsh. 


At a recent meeting of the Philadelphia Academy of Sci- 
ences, Professor Marsh, of Yale College, described several new 
species of fossil land lizards which were discovered in the ter- 
tiary deposits of Wyoming by the Yale scientific party dur- 
ing their explorations last summer in the Rocky Mountain 
region. Some of these lizards were as large as any now liv- 
ing in tropical America, but all were quite distinct from aiiy 
hitherto found. They represent a new genus, which was call- 
ed Glt/ptosaurus, in allusion to the fact that the head and 
parts of the body were covered with highly ornamented bony 
plates. Four species were described, which are readily distin- 
guished by the form and ornamentation of the shields on the 
head. The largest of these, G. sylvestris^ was about four feet 
in length ; the smallest, G, ancepa^ apparently about two feet. 
The other species were intermediate in size, and were called 


G. nocUmia and (?. ocdiatua. These interesting remains will 
be described in full by Professor Marsh in an early number 
of the Americmi Journal of Science. 


We are in the habit of supposing that tropical lands are 
nec^sarily infested with poisonous serpents of varied species 
and in great numbers, and are led to consider this supposed 
condition as one of the chief drawbacks to residence or travel 
in those regions. This may be the case as it regards Asia, 
and also in a few of the West India Islands, but it certainly 
does not apply to Central America, where, with an immense 
multiplicity of species, those of a venomous nature are com- 
paratively rare ; in fact, much scarcer than in the Southern 
United States. A naturalist, relating his recent experiences 
in Guatemala, which is a fair type of the region generally in 
this respect, remarks that one may be in the country a long 
time without seeing a snake of any kind, and much less fre- 
quently a poisonous one. The latter indeed are, perhaps, not 
actually rare on the coast, but they avoid the presence of 
man, and, at any rate, move about but little in the daytime. 
A species of rattlesnake is the most abundant. The writer 
also remarks that the poison of the rattlesnake appears to be 
much less deadly than it is flirther north, as quite a number 
of cases of bites came under his notice, but he never heard 
of one resulting in death. — l*? (7, December^ 1870, 443. 


It was stated some time ago by one of the India papers 
that a great many deaths were occurring in that country 
from the bites of poisonous serpents, and statistics were 
given. on this subject which were discredited by various writ- 
ers. We learn, however, by official records, that the number 
of persons who have died from this cause may be safely esti- 
mated at 40,000 per annum. The low condition of the treas- 
ury is given as the reason which prevents the government 
from renewing its former offer of re ward for killing these ser- 
pents. A list, of the bounties paid for destroying this class 
of noxious animals in a very small district showed that poi- 
sonous, serpents were brought in at the rate of 1200 a day, 
and in the course of a couple of months the payments, at the 



rate of from six to twelve cents each, amounted to $50,000. 
— 12 A^ February 16, 312. 


The great abundance of poisonous serpents in Santa Lucia 
and other adjacent West India Islands has given rise to in- 
quiries as to methods of exterminating them, on accouut of 
their having become a serious impediment to the proper cul- 
tivation of the island and to the reclamation of the wild lands 
of the interior. Among other means suggested for this pur- 
pose is the introduction of the mungoose, the secretary-bird 
of Africa, and the kingfisher of Australia. Specimens of the 
first-named animal have been forwarded to Saint Lucia for 
the purpose of trying the experiment ; and reports of encoun- 
ters between the mungoose and serpents have been since 
noted, in all of which the former invariably came off success- 
ful. In several instances the animal appeared to have been 
bitten in its encounter, but with no injurious result. 
It is probable, as already suggested by several persons, 
. that the object in view would be completely attained within 
a reasonable time by allowing hogs to run wild and multiply 
in the islands. Their powers in destroying rattlesnakes in 
North America are well known, and it is not at all unlikely 
that they would be as effective in the West Indies, although, 
from the great abundance of serpents, quite a long time might 
be needed before any appreciable effect would be manifest. — 
11 A^ January 3, 1871, 1. 


Although the number of poisonous serpents in North Amer- 
ica is sufficiently great to render it a matter of considerable 
uncertainty to the unlearned whether any given individual 
is likely to prove dangerous or not, we may congratulate 
ourselves at being better off than the Australians. In the 
recently published catalogue of the serpents of that country 
by Dr. Krefft, of Sydney, we find enumerated about eighty- 
three species, of which only twenty-three are non-venomous. 
Of the sixty poisonous kinds fifteen are sea snakes, which 
are frequently encountered when bathing. The total num- 
ber of serpents catalogued as occurring in America, north 
of Mexico, is about one hundred and fifty^ of which only 


twenty-three are in any way poisonous. — 16 -4, August 6, 


We ai*e most of us familiar with the structure of the poison 
glands in the American serpents, as illustrated in the* rattle- 
snake and copperhead. These, as is well known, lie on each 
side of the head, and give to it a peculiar breadth as com- 
pared with the narrow neck, and show unmistakably the 
venomous nature of any given specimen. In a certain form 
of East Indian serpent, however, the CaUophU inteatinaliSy 
these glands extend from the head for about one third of the 
entire length of the body, lying free in their cavity, and 
causing the heart to occupy a place greatly posterior to its 
usual position in other species of snakes. — 12 A^ July 28, 265. 


In a lectura upon " The Origin of Species," by Professor 
Cope, delivered at Germantown, he remarked upon the differ- 
ences between the turtles of the northern and southern hem- 
ispheres. These are mainly that the under side of the shell, 
in the southern forms, has eleven plates, while that of the 
northern has but ten. The northern turtle withdraws its 
head between the two shells by bending its vertebral col- 
umn, but the southern throws its head around one side under 
the shell, much as a bird buries its head under its wing. In 
the turtle of the southern hemisphere both bones of the pelvis 
are united to the lower shell by a vertebral brace ; in the 
northern, they are entirely separated. These are the strong 
characteristics of the two varieties ; but in the upper bed of 
the mesozoio age, in the green sands of New Jeraey, turtles 
are found which have some of the characteristics of those of 
the southern hemisphere. In these, however, the bones of the 
pelvis are not joined to the lower shell, but there ai*e slight 
projections on the shell immediately under the pelvis which 
nearly approach a junction. — Cop^B Lecture. 


The adaptation of certain animals to conditions of exist- 
ence apparently different from those considered necessary to 
the preservation of life has frequently been noted, and a curi- 


ous instance of this has come to light in regard to a kind of 
frog found in New Zealand. We can hardly imagine a frog 
surviving and maintaining its existence in a country habitu- 
ally parched with drought, involving the disappearance of 
every di'op of surface moisture, but it is said to be really the 
fact that in districts often over five thousand square miles in 
extent in the interior of New Zealand, where there is no sur- 
face water for months, and in some instances for yeavs, when- 
ever rain falls in sufficient quantities to fill the water-holes, 
they immediately swarm with frogs ; this, too, when previ- 
ously one may dig for ten or twelve feet without finding the 
slightest moisture, much less any water, the whole ground 
being baked dry, and without any apparent signs of animal 
* life. The problem, however, has been solved by a late writer, 
who states that on one occasion, while making a two days' 
journey on horseback without finding water, he became very 
much alarmed at the prospect, and called to his counsels a 
young native not more than ten years old, who, on learning 
the difficulty, proceeded to examine the dry surface of the 
water-holes, and finally detected and followed up an indis- 
tinct and crooked mark on what had once been mud to where 
it ceased in the shade of a small salt-bush. He then began 
to dig with a sharp stick, afid in a short time turned out a 
ball of clay about eight inches in diameter, quite dry outside, 
which, when broken, disclosed a frog shut up in a cavity, 
containing, besides, more than half a pint of clear cool water. 
With this hint the writer afterward proceeded to dig out 
many other balls of a sipailar character, drinking the water 
and eating the frogs. It is thought not improbable that, fn 
many cases, frogs may remain under such circumstances for 
several years. — 2 A^ November 12, 350. 


Some account has appeared in the public journals of the 
experiments of Professor Goltz, of Kdnigsberg, upon the func- 
tions of the nervous system of the frog. This gentleman, 
having removed the brain of the frog with as little effusion 
of blood as possible, found that it would rest upon a table ex- 
actly in its natural position, as if in perfect life, without ex- 
hibiting the least indication of the wound which it had expe- 
rienced, but without changing its situation of its own accord. 


If pressed or pinched it moved by turning or leaping, but re- 
mained motionless in its new attitude. In the condition re- 
ferred to it did not croak spontaneously, bijt this could easily 
be induced by rubbing the back gently with the moistened 
finger, which seemed to produce a croak or grunt of satisfac- 
tion. The equilibrium of the body was readily maintained 
by the mutilated frogs. When placed upon a book which 
sloped gradually, they would crawl to the upper edge, and 
rest and hug themselves to it with their fore feet, this ma- 
noeuvre being repeated every time that the inclination of the 
slope was changed. A healthy frog, in a like case, would of 
course have immediately leaped to the ground. The move- 
ments of a fi'og deprived of the brain differ from those of a 
healthy frog in being executed mechanically, and with a con- 
stant regularity. It is inferred from these interesting experi- 
ments that the nervous centres of voice, and the power of 
keeping the equilibrium, reside not in the brain, but in the 
cerebro-^pinal axis.r^3 J?, July 21, 525. 


The interesting announcement has been made to the Acad- 
emy of Sciences in Paris of the discovery in Western China 
of a new species of giant salamander {Sieboldia davidiana)^ 
closely resembling in general character the well-known spe- 
cies of Japan, but differing in several important points. These 
consist principally in the less confluent character of the tu- 
bercles on the surface of the head and anterior portion of the 
body, and their greater degree of regularity, forming regular 
lihes^ with well-marked figures. The eye is inclosed in a 
double range of tubercles, which, on the internal face, become 
angular like a very open V, while in the Japanese species the 
tubercles present only a confused arrangement. The Chinese 
animal, too, appears to have -the fingers and toes a little lon- 
ger in proportion,' and the general color of the body darker. 
It lives on the frontier of the Celestial Empire, in the clear 
and limpid waters which descend from the mountains of the 
Khourkou-noor, where it reaches enormous dimensions, some 
specimens having been met with weighing from fifty to sev- 
enty pound8.-^3 ^, 12, July 20, 662. 


A work of great impoi'tance to naturalists has been com- 
pleted in the publication of the eighth and last volume of the 
catalogue of fishes in the British Museum, prepared by Dr. 
Gdnther, one of its assistants. Although nominally a cata- 
logue of this particular collection, it is actually a complete 
system of the fishes, and furnishes by far the most convenient 
manual of general inquiry in this department of science, al- 
though, of cotlrse, not superseding the still larger work of 
Cuvier and Valenciennes. In summing up the amount of ma- 
terial at his command during the preparation of the work, 
Dr. Gdnther remarks that he has had under his inspection in 
the British Museum over 29,000 specimens, embracing a little 
over 6000 species. Allowing about 1600 species as valid, not 
at present contained in the Museum^ and admitting the exist- 
ence of others described but not known to him,* he estimates 
the total number of fishes at present described as about 9000. 
In this connection we may, perhaps, be pardoned for remind- 
ing our readers that, great as is the collection of fishes in the 
British Museum (the largest in Europe), it is exceeded by far 
by that in the magnificent Museum of Comparative Zoology, 
of which Professor Agassiz is the honored director, and of 
which (as well as of its head) all Americans are so justly 
proud. The Thayer Expedition to Brazil alone furnished a 
much larger number of specimens of fishes than has just been 
enumerated, while by actual count less than one half the 
Museum collection of fishes already arranged occupies over 
15,000 jars, each containing from one to hundreds of speci- 
mens. — 12 A^ March 2, 343. 


In the work by Dr. GUnther upon the fishes of the British 
Museum, to which- we have just alluded, reference is made 
to the neglect in Great Britain of the opportunity of scien- 
tific research furnished by the cruises of the British vessels of 
war, and invidious comparisons are made between this line 
of conduct by them on the one hand, and that of the German, 
Russian, and United States governments on the other. Dur- 
ing the eariy years of the present century very important 
contributions were made to the British Museum by such par- 


ties as those of the Beagle, the Erebus and Terror, the Sul- 
phur, the Samarang,the Herald and Plover, the arctic expe- 
ditions, etc., which, however, according to Dr. Gtlnther, have 
of late found no imitators. At the present time the British 
Museum depends for its additions — in the department of zo- 
ology especially — ^upon purchases made from private parties 
with funds granted annually by Parliament, while other na- 
tional establishments rely mainly upon the efforts of collect- 
ors officially attached to government vessels, who bring in 
copious material, and of much greater novelty and scientific 
interest. — 19 A^ March 18, 256. 


A writer in Zand and Water expresses great astonishment 
at reading of the capture of a horse*mackerel near Newport, 
Rhode Island, weighing five hundred pounds, and remarks 
that he has n^ver seen a fish. of this species in England weigh- 
ing more than six pounds. We have here another instance 
of the confusion arising from the paucity of English names 
for objects of natural history, to which we have already re- 
ferred. The fish in question was unquestionably the same as 
that called the tunny in Europe, a species attaining an enor- 
mous size, sometimes considerably exceeding that just men- 
tioned. To what is called bluefish in New York, and white- 
fish on the lower Hudson, is applied, on some parts of the 
coast of New Jersey, this same name of horse-mackerel, while 
on other portions of the coast of the same state it goes by the 
names of skipjack and snap-mackerel, and it is known as tailor 
in Maryland and on the Southern coast.— 2 -4, Aug. 6, 1 BIO^ 88. 


According to a writer in Ijand and Water^ the female her- 
ring discharges her spawn in mid water simultaneously with 
the emission of milt by the males, and the fertilized eggs 
sink immediately to the bottom, where they adhere closely 
to any object with which they come in contaet, in conse- 
quence of a mucus which envelops each globule. ' Fishermen 
maintain that when a large school of herring are engaged in 
this operation the water of the sea becomes whitened by the 
milt, sometimes recognizable over a large area; and it is 
said to be necessary to wash the nets thoroughly and with 


great care to prevent them from becoming heated and rotten 
in consequence of having been soaked in this animal matter. 
—2 Aj December 10, 1870, 425. 


Of the various fishes that inhabit the ocean, none have, per- 
haps, more direct bearing upon the prosperity of the mari- 
time people of the North than the sea-herring, the shores of 
both hemispheres being visited regularly by countless myri- 
ads, that furnish an inexhaustible source of food. It is, there- 
fore, not to be wondered at that the attention of fishermen, 
as well as of statesmen and political economists, has been di- 
rected to the different questions connected with the migra- 
tion and preservation of these fish, and that much research 
should have been expended in determining the various points 
connected with their history. 

Until quite recently, however^ one important element of 
their biography has been unsolved — namely, the precise na- 
ture of the food upon which they subsist, at least during the 
time when they come into the vicinity of the shore, although 
their varying degree of excellence throughout the year, is be- 
lieved to depend largely upon what they find to eat in the 
different months. 

Intimately connected with this same subject of the food of 
the herring is the fact that at times it is found almost impos- 
sible to preserve the fish after being caught, since, notwith- 
standing the prompt use of salt, decomposition ensues, and 
spoils the entire catch. Indeed, at certain seasons of the 
year, it is said that herring can not be preserved at all ex- 
cept by taking the precaution of retaining them alive in the 
net for a period of from three to ten days. 

A very important communication on the food of the her- 
ring has lately been published by a Danish author, Mr. Axel 
Boeck, from which we learn that the herring food or " meat," 
consisting almost entirely of minute invertebrate animals, is 
divided by the Northern fishermen into three classes— :the 
"red," the "yellow," and the "black;" the names being de- 
rived from the color of this food when living, or else from its 
appearance when in the stomach of the fish. 

The " red meat" {rddaat) is the most common and best 
known, and occurs along the entire coast of Norway and in 


the mouths of the bays, but more sparingly in the bays them- 
selves and in the open sea, diminishing in amount, apparently, 
■with the depth. At certain periods of summer, however, it 
appears in such immense abundance that the sea is colored 
red by it. When. floating in this way upon the surface it at- 
tracts innumerable schools of mackerel as well as of herring, 
which are then much less shy than usual, and the scene is 
one of impressive activity, owing to the number of boats and 
nets employed in fishing. On a careful exaniination, this sub- 
stance was found to consist almost entirely of small copepod 
crustaceans, the largest scarcely the thirtieth of an inch in 
length, and barely distinguishable by the naked eye. They 
were mostly species of Ccdanus^ Eikocalanua^ Centropages, 
and Anomalocera. 

It can hardly be believed that such minute and almost mi- 
croscopic animals can be of so much importance to the wel- 
fare of a nation ; but, in reality, the mackerel and the autum- 
nal herring owe their fatness to them, the microscope reveal- 
ing through their thin shells the fat lying in distinct strips 
between the muscles and intestines. 

These same crustaceans occur also off Spitzbergen in such 
abundance as to furnish food to innumerable water-fowl, and 
even the whales feed upon them to a great extent. If, now, 
the herring has taken in a large quantity of this I'ed food, and 
is then captured and killed without its having been fully di- 
gested, the animal matter in the stomach of the fish begins 
to spoil before it can be reached by the salt, and the stomach 
thus becomes putrid, as well as the large blood-vessel which 
lies under the back, the coloring matter imparting a reddish 
tinge to the flesh along the backbone. For this reason it is 
required by law to keep herring three days in the nets in 
water, that all the contents of the stomach may be complete- 
ly digested, while the fish is prevented from taking in a fresh 
supply. Sometimes, however,, the winds drift this herring- 
food into the nets, and furnish to the herring an opportunity 
which they eagerly embrace, rendering them again liable to 
the difficulty just mentioned. 

When a herring, on being squeezed, discharges a 'yellow 
pulp, this is known as " yellow meat," or gulaat This is not 
so abundant as the other, but appeal's, like the " red meat," 
to be composed in part of transparent copepdds, together 


with the larv8B of the tape-worms and other annelids, whiok 
occur on the Norwegian coast in immense numbers. It is 
stated that the surface of the sea is sometimes seen to be 
completely covered with little worms of about the twenty- 
fourth of an inch in length/ swimming actively about by 
means of certain hairs which encircle their bodies like a gir- 
dle. These animals were sufficiently developed to permit 
their identification as the young o{ Leucodore cUiata, Her- 
ring and mackerel feed largely upon these animals^ so that 
the '^ yellow meat" consists in greater part of the fine hairs 
which cover the exterior of the larvae in question. This kind 
of food is considered to interfere less with the proper curing 
of the herring, as it is much more quickly digested. 

The most objectionable kind of herring-food, however, is 
that which is known as the '^ black meat," or svartaat^ some- 
times called krutaat, and occurring on the surface of the sea 
in the form of little granules moving freely about, but which 
sink on being' touched. This is said to be most abundant in 
rainy seasons, when there is a short interval of fine and clear 
weather. Herring that have fed on this substance are con- 
sidered to be entirely unfit for salting, even when kept in the 
nets for a much longer time than that already mentioned. 
The salted fish has an extremely disagreeable smell, even aft- 
er the stomach, with its contents, has been removed. 

A microscopic examination of this matter showed that it 
consists entirely of the larval young of small shell-fish found 
among the sea-weed, and belonging to the genus Hissoa, 
These swim by means of two flippers covered with hairs, 
which are protruded from a transparent shell having from 
three to seven turns or windings. They are about one tenth 
of ah inch in length, and on being touched draw within the 
shell and sink to the bottom. When full grown these mol- 
lusks lose their flippers, and creep about the sea-weed by 
means of a large foot. Thus it is easy to understand why 
this " black meat" is more dangerous than the other kinds. 
While the shells of the animals forming the "red meat" are 
quite thin, and the bodies of the " yellow meat" a;re very soft, 
those of the " black meat," on the contrary, being inclosed in 
hard shells, are not so easily reached by the digestive fluid ; 
so that while the exterior parts, namely, the swimming flip- 
pers, are quickly digested, the rest of the body :within the 


shell becomes decomposed. Oii this accoant the flesh of the 
herriDg, after feeding npon these moUuskis, soon becomes 
tainted by their decomposition, and gives out a disagreeable 
smell, notwithstanding the application of salt. 

It may be asked why the summer and autumnal herring 
feed upon this food, and not the spring hening nor those 
taken . in the open sea, both the latter being capable of pres* 
erration without any detention in the nets. The reason of 
this seems to be that the spring and open-sea herring are cap* 
tured when under the stimulus of the spawning season, and 
in the search for a suitable place for the development of their 
young. At this time the question of food is reduced to zero, 
or near it, and- a careful examination of the stomachs of herring 
taken under such circumstances shows comparatively little 
animal matter. Summer and autumnal herring, on the other 
hand, are specially engaged in seeking for food and bringing 
up their flesh, and that at a time when the larvae of the lower 
animals are found swimming freely about in large quantity 
upon the surface of the sea. — Die Natur^ 1869, xLvn:, xlviii. 


According to Panceri, th^ phosphorescent substance in dead 
fish is of a fatty character, and due to slow oxidation in con- 
tact with air. Phosphorescence generally^ it is said, shows 
itself some time after death, and continues until putrefaction 
commences. As soon as a true decomposition sets in, accom- 
panied by the disengagement of ammonia, phosphorescence 
ceases, while it is prevented by the presence of fresh water, 
alcohol, or carbolic acid, but is facilitated by oxygen. — 12 -4, 
-4w^. 10, 287. 


A recent number of the Annals of the New York Lyceum 
of Natural History contains an elaborate paper, by Professor 
Poey, the well-known naturalist of Havana, upon the genera 
of the percoid fishes found in the West Indian seas, especially 
in the waters around Cuba. 


In a communication by Colonel Playfair upon the "Hydro- 
graphical System and the Fresh-water Fish of Algeria," he 


states that in the rivers flowing into the Mediterranean there 
are sixteen species of fish, only three of which were common 
to the whole region, one being the common eel. Eleven spe- 
cies were peculiar to the coast portion of Algeria, among them 
a small trout. The common goldfish, although very abun- 
dant, was not indigenous, and was scarcely entitled to be in- 
cluded. In the upper part of Sahara were found two species, 
and in the lower, two others, found in the salt lakes, and fre- 
quently ejected by the Artesian wells. — 12 A^Aug. 24, 333. 


Mr. Buckland, in Land and Water, gives an interesting ac- 
count of a visit paid by him to a pond containing tame cod- 
fish at Port Logan, Wigtonshire. The property in question 
belongs to a gentleman by the name of M'Dougall, an^ con- 
sists of an amphitheatre about one hundred feet in diameter 
hollowed out of the solid rock by the sea. All egress from 
this is prevented by a barrier of loose stones, through which 
water passes freely. On approaching the shore of the pond 
many codfish of great size were seen, and when a servant- 
woman who had charge of the fish approached with some 
mussels, the surface of the water was perfectly alive with the 
struggling fish. They came close to the edge, and after a 
little while permitted Mr. Buckland to take hold of them, 
scratch them on the back, and play with them in various 
ways. Among other experiments .tried by him was that of 
holding a mussel in his hand, and allowing the fish to swal- 
low his hand in the effort to obtain the mussel. These fish 
furnish to the proprietor an ample supply of excellent food, 
the flavor being considered much superior to that of the cod 
taken in the open sea. Whenever needed for the table, a se- 
lection can readily be made from the most promising of those 
at hand, and the fish secured without any difficulty. 

Another writer in Zrand and Water, referring to this ac- 
count of the codfish at Port Logan, remarks, that when be 
visited the pond fifty years ago, there was a blind codfish in 
the pool, which the woman who had the pond in charge used 
to feed with limpets taken from the rock. When this fish 
came to the surface with the others she caught it in her fin- 
gers, sat down with it upon a stool, having a pail of the lim- 
pets, shelled, in her lap, with which she fed it out of an iron 


spooD, the fish seeming to enjoy it very much. After feeding 
she returned it to the pond. The writer avers this to be a 
fact, although he evidently scarcely expects it to be believed; 
'—-2 A^ 1870, November 12, 348, and November 19, 360. 



Among the curious things connected with the codfish is 
the frequency with which large stones are found in the stom- 
ach. These are of various sizes, sometimes, in a large fish, 
weighing many pounds ; and it is a popular belief among fish- 
ermen that these are taken in just before a stoim for the pur- 
pose of anchoring themselves during the expected swell of 
the sea. This is supposed to be corroborated by the fact 
(if it be one) that all the fish taken before a storm agree in 
this peculiarity, whereas at ordinary times nothing of the 
kind can be detected. — 2 A^ Atiffust 1 2, 92. 


To those who are accustomed to consider our American 
sturgeon as a comparatively worthless fish (large numbers, 
indeed, when captured, being thrown away as of no value), it 
may be a matter of surprise to know that a small European 
species, the sterlet, is among the kinds offish most highly es^ 
teemed in Russia. Efforts are now being made to introduce 
this species into Great Britain by transporting the ova, and 
about two hundred young fish have already been turned out 
on the estate of the Duke of Sutherland. A very interesting 
fact was observed during the development of these fish, name- 
ly, that immediately behind the lips of the sterlet; just es- 
caped from the egg, were found eighteen pretty strong curved 
teeth, with which they fought each other quite ferociously. — 
11 -4,€7anwary3, 1871, 11. 


A memoir presented to the Academy of Sciences of St. Pe- 
tersburg by Mr. Owsjannikow, on the development of the river 
lamprey {Petromyzo^i fluviatUis)^ confirms the observations 
previously made in regard to Amm^ocoetea^ being the larval 
stage of the same fish. As is well known, this latter form 
was for a long time considered a distinct genus of the lam- 
preys, miaintaining, as it did, to the age of two or three years, 


its distinctive peculiarities. The chief of these is the diffeiv 
ence in the shape of the mouth, which, ini&tead of bding a vei-y 
concave disk, thickly studded inside with sharp spines, is 
composed of one thin semicircular lip, with a transverse one 
behind it.— Jfc/. Biol. Acad Sci. St. Petersb.^ 1870, 189. 


Dr. C. LUtken, in a paper on the limits and classification of 
the ganoid fishes, published in the Annals and Magazine of 
Natural History y as translated by Mr. Dallas, discusses at con- 
siderable length the true affinities of this remarkable group 
of fishes, of which, as is well known, the garfish, or garpike 
of America, and the Polypterus of Africa, are types, constitut- 
ing living representatives of a form which, in the earlier ge- 
ological periods, was the predominant one. 

The conclusion to which Dr. Ltltken arrives, in answer to 
the question "What is a ganoid?" is as follows: Every 
fish (abdominal, malacopterygian, physostome) with osseous 
scales, articulated (as in the lepidostei) or interlocked (in the 
manner of the pycnodonts), or with gular plates in place of 
the branchiostegal rays, and with the paired fins^ fringed and 
scaly (as in the polypteri), or which combine several of these 
character, should be classed among the ganoids. — 10 A^May^ 
1871, 337. 


The gourami, an Eastern fish recommended for stocking, 
fresh-water ponds, is by no means difficult to transport, hav- 
ing been successfully carried from the Mauritius to Ohina. 
Quite recently twenty or thirty small ones were taken from 
Mauritius as far as the Isthmus of Suez, the water in which 
they were placed having been changed every day. On reach- 
ing their destination they were placed in a fresh-water canal, 
where they are thriving. This fish is said to breed readily, 
commencing in the second year, and attaining in time a 
weight of eight or ten pounds, although considei^ed best 
when weighing only about four pounds. 


Dr. Lfttken, in describing a new genus of fish belonging to 
the Lophius group, remarked that one character distinguish- 


ing it, both peculiar and suggestive, consisted in the curious 
development of the head of the first dorsal fin-ray, which, with 
its tentacles, pigmental spots, etc., gave the impression of, as 
it. were, a mimicry of the head of a Nereis or worm. The 
best known representative of the Lophioid fishes is the un- 
couth species known in different regions under the names- of 
fishing-frog, goosefish, bellows-fish, etc. This has a long fila- 
ment just on the top of the head, terminating in a brush, and 
is said to answer the purpose of enticing small fishes into the 
vicinity of the owner, when the body is concealed from view 
in the mud. The bunch in question on this new genus and 
species (Oneiroidee) is thought to be an attractive bait of the 
same character. — 12 A^ August 24, 333. 


Mr. Buckland, in Zand and Water ^ calls attention to the 
fact that in certain male salmon kelts examined by him early 
in February, the skin of the fish, in which the scales are pock- 
eted, is abnormally thickened, so as almost to obliterate the 
appearance of the scales, and cause the fish to appear as if 
destitute of them. The female kelts, however, did not exhibit 
this phenomenon, the scales being in them little if at all al- 
tered either in the color or thickening of the scale-pockets. — 

A^ February 4, 1871, 87. * 



Mr» Fmnk Buckland, in Lanc^ and Watery gives an account 
of a visit to what he considers the finest salmon-fishing ground 
in Scotland — namely. Loch Tay. This patch of water is about 
fifteen miles long and one mile wide, very deep, and filled with 
water of the utmost purity and of very low temperature. In 
this lake the salmon sometimes make their appearance as early 
as December, although fishing does not begin until'the month 
of February, the purity of the water and the abundance of 
food being supposed to induce these fish to come up from the 
sea at a much earlier period than usual ; but it is not until 
the following November, or ten months later, that the repro- 
ductive season begins. The average weight of the fish is 
given at about twenty pounds, while those of twenty-five to 
thirty are by no means uncommon. 

In anQtbel* article. Mr. Buckland comments upon a female 


salmon taken early in January of the present year. The eggs 
at the time of capture were in an advanced stage of develop- 
ment, forming two solid masses, and weighing together not 
less than three and a half pounds. Allowing from eight to 
nine thousand eggs to the pound, this fish had not less than 
nineteen thousand eggs in all. These were of a rich coral 
color, and very loose in their membrane. The fish itself 
weighed twenty pounds, and measured three feet two inches 
in length. 

In reply to an inquiry whether this fish was in season, Mr. 
Buckland determined that it was decidedly the contrary, as 
December or January is entirely too late for fishing in any 
English river. — 2 A^ January 7, 5. 

"landlocked salmon." 

Among objects of great interest to American spoilsmen, 
and those prosecuting inquiries in regai'd to the food-fishes 
of the country, are the so-called '* landlocked salmon," found 
in Maine and elsewhere, and about which there has been much 
diversity of opinion. These are known especially as inhabit- 
ing Sebago Lake and. its streams, some tributaries, of the Pe- 
nobscot, the lakes in the neighborhood of Ellsworth, and the 
Schoodic lakes at the head of a branch of the St. Croix River. 
This fish has been actually described as a distindt species — 
from Sebago Lake, as Salmo sehago ; and from near Ells- 
worth, Maine, as 8. gloveri; the Schoodic fish being, we be- 
lieve, without any specific appellation, unless it be 8. hardinii 
of Dr. Giinther, or, according to Agassiz, 8. eriox, both Euro- 
pean species. 

Whether this fish be really a " landlocked salmon" — ^that 
is to say, a true, sea salmon that has changed its habits to 
such an extent as to dwell pennanently in the fresh waters — 
is the subject of inquiry on the part of Mr. Livingstone Stone, 
who is rather inclined to take ground in favor of a specific 
difference. He finds, as might be supposed, that there is no 
reason for referring the landlocked salmon, whether of three 
varieties or of only one, to the brook trout, the difference in 
the size of the scales, the dark spots instead of red, the shape 
of the head, an*d many other points, being such as to distin- 
guish them. On the other hand, the close relationship to the 
sea salmon is shown in the character of the scales and spots 



just referred to, in the development of a conical task in the 
lower jaw, in the similarity of the parrs to the salmon parrs 
of the same size, and the great size of the eggs, equal in this 
respect to those of the salmon ; in the form of the yolk sac, 
which is elongated like that of the salmon, instead of being 
rounded like that of the trout; in their asciending streams at 
night; in the short period of spawning; and in spawning at 
night aud lyifig quiet during the day, the reverse being the 
habit of the trout, which spawns during the day and lies 
quiet at night. The relation is,' therefore, much more cIobc 
to the true salmon; and the remaining question is as to 
whether it be really the same as the true sea salmon or not. 
Mr. Stone, however, thinks the difference in the number of 
eggs of the Sebago salmon, as he calls it, and that of the sea 
salmon, is a very important point. Thus, while the latter 
produces from nine to fifteen thousand eggs per season, or an 
average of about one thousand to each pound in weight of 
the fish, the landlocked salmon, although of about one third 
the weight, averages only six hundred eggs per season, or 
about two 'hundred to the^ound. Furthermore, there is not 
now, nor has there ever been, any thing to prevent these so- 
called " landlocked salmon" from going to the sea whenever 
they preferred ; and the fact that they do not migrate is con- 
sidered by Mr, Stone as strong proof that they never pos- 
sessed the instinct to do so.-r-^ A ^ April 8, 1871, 246. 



According to Dr. Slack, the well-known proprietor of the 
Troutdale fish-breeding establishment in New Jersey, the 
best substance with which to feed embryo troiit hatched out 
artificially consists of beefs heart, prepared by first being 
opened that the coagulated blood may be washed away thorr 
oaghly, and then using only the pure muscular fibre. This is 
to be finely chopped into minute fragments, so as almost to 
form a pulp, and then, mixed with a little water, it is to be 
washed through a fine sieve of twenty-four threads to the inch, 
so as to prevent any minute particles from passing through. 

————— ' • I 


At the last meeting of the British Association some so- 
called taillesft'trout were exhibited, which were said to occur 



in considerable numbers in a certain loch in Scotland, about 
a thousand feet above the level of the sea, and about one acre 
in extent. It is so shallow that a man can wade through it, 
and has a stony bottom, with a few weeds. Although sur- 
rounded by other lochs, the tailless trout were found exclu- 
sively in the one in question. The precise nature of the mu- 
tilation was not given in the article. 

It was stated, in the discussion which ensued upon the ex- 
hibition of this specimen, that in other localities in Great 
Britain there were streams in which trout without tails, and 
sometimes without other fins, were not uncommon. — 18 -4, 
August 18, 5^1 . 


During a recent meeting of the Entomological Society of 
London an insect known as Chtorops lineata was exhibited, 
which had been found frozen up in the centre of a hailstone, 
proving that it must have been flying at a very considerable 
height in order to have been inclosed in the mass of ice. — 3 (7, 


The entomology of the island of Madeira, acicording to Mr. 
Wollaston, presents some very peculiar features as compared 
with that of the main land, this being especially the case in 
regard to the coleoptera. From a review by Mr. Wallace, in 
Nature, of the paper of Mr.Wollaston, we learn that the most 
Striking facts indicated are : first, the affinity of the Madeiran 
with the Mediterranean fauna ; second, the total absence of 
certain large divisions of coleoptera abundant in that fauna ; 
third, the number of new and peculiar species and new and 
anomalous genera ; and, fourth, the unexampled prepondei^ 
ance of apterous species. This characteristic is exhibited 
very strikingly by the fact that species are apterous in Ma- 
deira which are winged elsewhere ; also, that genera usually 
winged embrace apterous species only in Madeira ; and, again, 
by the presence of peculiar or endemic apterous genera, some 
of which have winged allies, while others belong to groups 
wholly apterous. This shows, evidently, according to Mr. 
Wallace, that there is something in Madeira which tends to 
render wings rudimentary, and Mr.Wollastofi himself sng- 


gests that it i6 connected with exposure to a stormy atmos- 
phere. He observes, further, that many of the winged spe- 
cies have wings more developed than usual; and Mr. Darwin, 
applying his peculiar views of selection to the case, gives as 
the explanation that the act of flying exposes the insects to 
be blown out to sea and destroyed, and those that flew least 
lived the longest, and by that process the race became ap^ 
terous. On the other hand, with species to which flight was 
a necessity, the strongest-winged lived the longest, and thus 
their wings became more and more developed in each suc- 
cessive generation. — 12 J[, March^ 30, 435. 


Although we look, and with ample reason, to the birds as 
the main agency in destroying insects injurious to vegetation, 
observation shows that diflerent forms of insects are molest- 
ed by them in very different degrees. This is especially the 
case in regard to the Lepidoptera^ some forms of which are 
notftouched by any birds whatever, and others, again, are de- 
voured by some and spared'by others. As a general rule, it 
is said that the most beautiful and brilliantly colored Lepir 
dcptera owe their safety to their tints, as the bird first at- 
tacks the; most striking portion, nanaely, the red hinder wing, 
and the insect tears itself away and escapes. Hairy caterpil- 
lars, again, are less eaten than the smooth species, not only, 
pei:haps, on account of their bristly covering, but their morQ 
nauseous taste, l" be streaked caterpillars, spotted with yel- 
low, are usually refused, while all the smooth and dark kinds, 
especially those resembling plants in color, or of a reddish 
tint, are generally devoured with great avidity.— 1 (7, xxni., 



The delicate indications in regard to temperature furnished 
by the thermo-electric apparatus have been lately used to 
great advantage in many investigations having for their ob- 
ject the determination of minute quantities of heat. Some 
of these we have already presented to our readers, and we 
have noie to chronicle some new experiments with the appa- 
ratus, for the purpose of ascertaining the amount of heat pos- 
sessed by invertebrate animals, in continuation of the re- 


searches of Datrochet, Dubost, Newport, and others* The 
observations in question were made by Mr. Maurice Girard, 
with both the thermo-electi'ic pile and the mercurial ther- 
mometer. From an abstract of the results obtained we learn 
that in the larvae and pupsB of insects with a complete meta- 
morphosis, especially caterpillars with smooth bodies, the 
temperature of the surface descends below that of the sur- 
rounding air, showing that the evolution of heat by the res- 
piratory combustion inay be insufficient to compensate for 
the loss due to the superficial evaporation or cutaneous trans- 
piration. In the case of chrysalids, the cocoon, in which the 
pupse of many lepidoptera and hymenoptera envelop them- 
selves, seems specially intended, among other objects, to pre- 
vent too rapid a drying of the animal, such as would induce 
a fatal superficial relrigeration. Indeed, at the moo^ent of 
being taken out of the cocoon, pupae usually present a distinct 
elevation of temperature, but, exposed to the air, they lose 
weight by evaporation, and the surface temperature of their 
bodies often descends below that of the surrounding ^ir. 
When the temperature approaches nearly to 32° Fahr., a su- 
perficial cooling, due to evaporation, does not appear to be 

Adult insects, even when sleeping or very weak, always 
have their temperature either equal to or slightly above that 
of the air. The larvae and pupae of insects with incomplete 
metamorphosis resemble adults in this respect. Mr. Gir^rd 
also ascertained that the temperature vanes appreciably in 
dififerent regions of the body, especially in insects with pow- 
erful aerial locomotion, where the difference in heat between 
the thorax and abdomen in this respect may be very consid- 
erable. In the bumble-bees and in the sphingidae the excess 
of the thoracic over the abdominal temperature sometimes 
amounts to from 7° to 18° Fahr., the heat in the flying insect 
being concentrated in the thorax with an intensity propor- 
tioned to the power of flight. This appears to result from 
the fact that in the thorax are situated the strong muscles 
both of the legs and wings, which in energetic contraction 
during flight become the seat of an active combustion. 

Again, in the bumble-bees and some other insects the ex- 
ternal evolution of heat was found to be in relation to the 
buzzing, the temperature falling as soon as the buzzing ceases. 



and rising again as soon as it is resumed, this being observed 
many times successively.— ^10^, Oc^bfter, 1870, 352. 


It is a comfort to know tbat insects, while developing to 
such an extent as to produce very serious injury and destruc- 
tion to our interests, are themselves liable to attacks which 
in time may destroy them, or render them comparatively in- 
nocuous. Among the most important of these agencies may 
be mentioned certain species of fungi, which occasionally at- 
tack insects like an epidemic. One of these, the mycelium of 
SLU Mnptesa, came to the rescue during a time when the for- 
ests of Pomerania and Posen were threatened with total de- 
struction by caterpillars. After a time it was found that the 
caterpillars were swollen to bursting, white threads appiear- 
ing between the rings of the body, and ultimately causing 
their death in such quantities as to save the forests from fur- 
ther injury. The same parasite also attacks the common 
house-fly, as well as the dung-fly, so as to almost annihilate 
them in certain districts. The only .order of insects not sub- 
ject to the attack of the Empusa is said to be that of the 
Neuroptera^ while even amphibia and fishes occasionally ex- 
perience its disturbing influences. — 5 -4, eTw/y, 1870, 293. 


Iif the June number of Hardwicke's Science Gossip, a new 
form of parasite, named IdolocoriSy is described, which is 
found adherent to the naked skin of the elephant of Ceylon. 
It belongs to the order of Hemipteraj and is characterized by 
Mr. Walker, of the British Museum, as forming the type of 
• an entirely new family. — 4 A, Jitney 131. 


A curious instance of parthenogenesis in Chironomiis, a ge- 
nus of diptera, is mentioned in the Memoirs of the Academy 
of Sciences of St. Petersburg. In spring, the larvsB, produced 
in the ordinary way from eggs, grow rapidly, and after the 
third change of skin attain their full size, showing distinct 
traces of the pupa within- them. After the pupa stage has 
been perfected the eggs are produced direct from it. In the 
autumn the course of development during the preparatory 



changes is precisely the same. The pupa, however, then 
changes into the perfect insect, which deposits eggs, probably 
after copulation, in the usual planner. — 13 A^October 22, 14. 


Mr.Meehan, of Philadelphia, reports a curious &ct in the 
natural history of a well-known bug, the Heduvius novefiart" 
us. He had previously mentioned his discovery that this in- 
sect stored up turpentine in its body, but for what purpose 
he was then unable to ascertain. He has since discoverad 
that it is used for fastening its eggs to the branches of trees, 
and sticking them together, and also, in all probability, as a 
means of protection against enemies and the weather. The 
eggs of this insect were inserted in groups, and each one set 
upright, one against another, with the turpentine, like the 
cells of the honeycomb. He does not think that this matter 
is a secretion of the insect itself, but believes it to* be simply 
turpentine gathered up and stored away. — 2 J9, 1871,50. 


Dr. M'Leod, the well-known editor of the Sunday Maga- 
zine^ in an account of his adventures during a recent trip to 
India, denies the nail-nibbling propensities of the cockroach, 
possibly because he himself had not suffered from their at- 
tacks. His assertion, however, has met with a rejoinder from 
a correspondent of Nature^ who writes that a friend had re- 
quested him to state that while passing from Kuirachee to 
Bombay, by sea, he was annoyed one night in his berth by 
some insect crawling upon his face, and, half asleep, half 
awake, he put up his hand and sent the insect to the foot of 
his berth. Shortly afterward he was awakened by a pain at 
his great toe, and, looking at it, he discovered that the cock- 
roach had nibbled off all the nail down to the quick. — 12 -4, 
November 10, 27. 


Among the insects most destructive to the vine, although 
but recently noticed, is a form known as the PhyUoxerd vaa- 
tatrix^ Of vine-root louse, which has lately excited much at- 
tention in France from the amount of injury it bids fair to 
c^,use to the vineyards. This is found in the ground about 



the roots of the vine, ou the leaves of which another form of 
louse has been observed considerably different in character. 
It has lately been announced that the two insects are in real- 
ity of (he same species, and that the terrestrial form emerges 
ultimately from the soil provided with. wings, and is carried 
by the wind upon the vine-leaves, where it deposits its eggs. 
From these proceed numerous insects, which produce certain 
excrescences in the leaves, resembling the gall-nut, and these 
give birth to living young, which, in turn, repeat the opei'a- 
tion for a number of generations, until the leaves begin to 
fall toward the end of September. At this time the insects 
descend to the roots and establish themselves there. An im- 
portant hint is thus furnished to the agriculturist in regard 
to getting rid of the new* pest'— namely, to carefully collect 
and destroy the vine-leaves containing any form of nut-gall 
excrescences. The insect itself is believed to have been 
brought to Europe from America, and to occur in this coun- 
try abundantly, although referred to under a different name. 
— 2 A, August 13, 105. 


In a late paper by Dr. Cohn, of Breslau, upon a new disease 
affecting certain caterpillars, during which the skin turns 
black, a coal-black pigment appears in the blood, and the cat- 
erpillar becomes a wrinkled and brittle mummy, he ascribes, 
the phenomenon to the development of a fungus which he 
calls Tarichium^ and which has a strong relationship to Mn- 
pusa. — 12 Ay Jan. 26, 243. 


A recent number of the Proceedings of the Academy of 
Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, contains a paper by Professor 
Meek upon various new species of invertebrate fossils from 
the carboniferous and Devonian rocks of Ohio, based upon spe- 
cimens obtained during the Ohio Geological Survey under the. 
direction of Prof. J. S. Newberry.— 2 i>, 1871, 61. 


Professor King, in the Annals and Magazine of JfaturaZ 
JSzstory^ describes a supposed new genus of Terebratul© 
which was dredged in very deep water on the Agulhas 


Banks, off the coast of Africa, and described as Agidhasia 
damdsoni. Mr. Dall, of the Smithsonian Institution, who has 
been making a special study of the brachiopods, finds reason 
to believe that this animal is not a new form, but simply an 
embryonic or immature stage of the genus Terebrattdina. — 
13 ^,i<^. 16,140. 


Mr. Gwyn Jeffreys, well known for his book on British 
shells, and for his connection with the recent deep-sea dredg- 
ings of the British Commission, announces a work on the' 
moUusca of the European seas. This will, it is hoped, furnish 
especially the means for a satisfactory comparison of thiB fau- 
na of that part of the world with, that of the Atlantic coast 
of North America^ — a field which has been explored with so 
much thoroughness by Dr. Stimpson, Professor Venill, Count 
Pourtal^s, and other American naturalists. — 15 Ay October 


In an inquiry into the possibility of determining the origi- 
nal colors of fossil shells, by Kayser, it was found that reds 
were more durable than any other color, this tint being ap- 
preciable in forms where their nearest living allies were of 
somewhat similar shades. — 19 C^ August 6, 252. 


Transversely striated fibre is universal in the voluntary 
muscles of vertebrates, insetsts, and crustaceans. In the other 
departments of invertebrates it is very rare, and seems usual- 
ly associated with muscles performing rapid voluntary mo- 
tions.' Among the mollusks it has been known in a few spe- 
cies of the classes of TunicoAa^ BracMopoda^ Polyzoa^ and 
Conehifera respectively. Mr. W. H. Dall has recently dis- 
covered transversely striated muscle in the genxx^ AcmtBa^ be- 
longing to the class Gasteropoda^ so that there remains but 
one class among the mollusca, the Cephalopoda^ in which it is 
yet unknown. This is, strangely enough, the most highly 
organized of any of the groups of the sublcingdom mollusca. 
Similar muscles are found in a few worms, and in a species of 
sea-anemone, or Actinia. 



As bearing upon certain questions connected with the true 
condition of -iSbgoo^i, Dr. Dawson, of Montreal, calls attention 
to the occurrence of crinoids and other unmistakable fossils, 
with their pores or cavities filled with a silicious substance 
which completely penetrates their most delicate structures, 
and which proves on examination to be a hydrosilicate allied 
to jollyte. — 12 A^June 29, 163. 


In an appendix to a report published by the Museum of 
Comparative Zoology on the echini collected by Pourtales, 
mention is made by Mr. Alexander Agassiz of an interesting 
species of this group, obtained during the Coast Survey ex- 
ploration of the Gulf Stream in 1868 and 1869. This, at the 
time the preliminary report was written, could not be identi- 
fied by Mr. Agassiz ; but .he has since then been able to as- 
certain that they belong to a genus named Kerioaphoriis^ the 
type of which had beea drawn up on a fishing-line from a 
depth of about seven hundred feet. It is peculiar on account 
of its long curved spines, which resemble the antennae of a 
certain family of beetles. 


Professor ClaparMe has made some interesting communi- 
cations to the Society of Physics of Geneva upon certain ma- 
rine invertebrates. One of these has reference to the Bryo- 
zod, a group of animals found in fresh water and salt, and re- 
sembling polyps in living in associations,' but which are dis- 
tinguished from them in their external characters, and espe- 
cially in the absence of any radiated structure. He has in- 
vestigated this group with special reference to the relations 
which exist between the different individuals of the same as- 
sociation — relations of nutrition by the intermediation of 
pores which perfnit the passage of the nutritious liquid from 
one individual to another, and the nervous relations estab- 
lished by a colonial nervous system, as already pointed out 
some years ago by Mr. Fritz Miller. On different points of 
the group of individuals-there are frequently found fixed bod- 
ies called Aviadaria^ which M. Clapar^de considers as rudi- 



mentary individuals, their object appearing to be that of at- 
tracting and retaining the animalcales which serve as food to 
the Bryozoa. All the individuals of any one colony are not 
active, some of them, indeed, seeming as if dead, and actual- 
ly having been so considered. This, however, is an error, 
these individuals, although having lost most of their organs, 
yet preserving the branches of the colonial nervous system, 
and continuing to live at the expense of the juices elaborated 
by the active members of the society. M. ClaparMe has 
shown the mode of retrogressive metamorphosis of these ani- 
mals, which retrace their steps over the same route of devel- 
opment which they had traversed in their first growth. 

In a second paper upon parasitic crustaceans of the anne- 
lids M.Clapar^de shows that of eleven species hitherto known, 
all belong to the order of copepods, although constituting 
eight or nine genera, divided into very different families. 
Among these copepods some are free, and others are para- 
sitic; in others the female sex is . completely pai*asitic, the 
males being free ; while, again, the male, very much reduced, 
in volume, lives as a parasite upon its female, which Itself is 
a parasite of some other animal. 

M. Clapar^de, in the critical study of the annelids collected 
by the British deep-sea expeditions — some of them taken at 
a depth of 650 fathoms — has shown that these animals are 
very largely the same, generically, with the kinds found near- 
er the surface of the sea, and even along the shores. Con- 
trary to the opinion of M. Quatrefages, he has ascertained 
that lumbricoid worms are very common at great depths, and 
that this group consequently contains species indubitably 
marine. — Mem. Soc, Phys. Geneve, XXII, 1870, 656. 


Professor Plateau has published some investigations as to 
the effect of placing fresh- water articulates in salt water, and 
salt-water articulates in fresh, the observations having been 
directed more particularly to the crustaceans. Among the 
conclusions arrived at are, that sea water has but a slight in- 
fluence upon the aquatic coleoptera and hemiptera in the 
perfect state, but that it produces injurious effects upon 
fresh-water articulates with a delicate skin, or furnished with 
branchiae. Among crustaceans some species of Oammarua 



and Asellits resist the action of sea water for several hours, 
while others perish in a few minutes. The fresh-water artic- 
ulates that can live with impunity in sea water are those in 
which no absorption of salt takes place bj the skin ; those 
which die in it in a comparatively short time having absorbed 
chlorides of sodium and magnesium, which the experimenter 
found to be the most injurious salts, the sulphates having no 
special effect. When the fresh-water articulates pass, by a 
slow transition, from fresh to sea water, and reproduction has 
taken place during this transition, the new generation resist 
the action of the sea water longer than the ordinary individ- 
uals of the species. 

In the investigations upon the marine Crustacea of the 
Belgian coast the conclusions arrived at were, first, that the 
commonest species die in fresh water after the lapse of a va- 
riable time, which, however, does not exceed nine hours; 
second, that the marine Crustacea, when immersed in fresh 
water, giye up to this the salts, especially the chloride of 
sodium, wit^L^vhich their tissues were impregnated. The 
converse of this otbservation was also true, that the fresh- 
water articulates immersed in sea water absorb these salts ; 
third, that in most cases the presence of chloride of sodium 
forms one of the indispensable conditions of resistance for the 
marine Crustacea ; but this salt appears to be .the only one 
necessary I fourth, the smaller individuals, and those which, 
having just moulted, have the integuments delicate, present 
less resistance than the others to the influence of liquids of 
exceptional composition; fifth, the difference between the 
densities of sea water and fresh water can not be regarded 
as the cause of the death of marine Crustacea in fresh water. 

As a general conclusion, applicable to both groups, Profess- 
or Plateau states that the idea of endosmose enables us to 
explain tbe absorption of salts by the delicate skin or the 
branchial surfaces of fresh-water articulates when immersed 
in sea water. The fact that diffusion and dialysis take place 
with more energy in the case of the chlorides of sodium and 
magnesium than in that of sulphate of magnesia explains 
why it is that the chlorides of sea water are alone absorbed. 
Dialysis explains why marine Crustacea, when placed in fresh 
water, lose the salts with which they were impregnated. — 10 
Aj May^ 1871, 862 : frmh M&m. Acad, de Bdgique. 




Much interest was excited some time ago by the announce- 
ment on the part of Mr. E. Billings, of Montreal, of the dis- 
covery of a specimen of trilobite which, in his opinion, exhib- 
ited unmistakably the possession of legs, and thus solved 
what was considered an interesting problem in the economy 
of that animal. Professor Dana, however, assisted by Pro- 
fessor Yerrill, has made a critical examination of the original 
specimen of Mr. Billings, and both came decidedly to the con- 
clusion that these organs are not legs, but the ai*ches in the 
membrane of the ventral surface, to which the foliaceous ap- 
pendages of the abdomen were attached. Professor Dana 
calls attention to the fact that similar arches exist in the un- 
der surface of the abdomen of the macrourous crustaceans, 
to which the abdominal appendages are articulated, f^rom 
a careful examination of the subject, Professor Dana con- 
cludes that, with the exception of these arches, the undier 
surface, of the belly of the trilobite must have been delicately 
membranous, like that of the abdomen of the lobster and 
othier long-tailed crabs. 


According to Mr. Woodward, twenty-three new species of 
fossil crustaceans have been discovered and described within 
the last year, one of them, of a very extensive distribution-, 
occurring in Upper Silesia, in Turin, and in three distinct lo- 
calities of England. He gives in his adhesion to the views 
of Mr, Billings in. regard to the possession of feet by trilo- 
bites, and thinks that this fact, if established, would carry 
the isopod class back in time to the earliest palaeozoic rocks. 
He dissents from the views of Dr. Packard, who, from the ex- 
amination of their embryos, proposes to bring the king-crab, 
or common horseshoe-crab of the United States, near to the 
trilobites. — 1 5 A , August 1 2, 2 1 0. 


. An improved method of cleaning and bleaching diatoma- 
ceae is stated by Dr. Maddox to consist in dissolving forty 
grains of crushed chlorate oi'potassa in water, with the addi- 
tion of one and a half dran\s of hydrochloric apid, the whole 



to be placed in a three-ounce vial, and closed with a wax 
cork. The diatoms are to be immersed in this for a suitable 
length of time, and subsequently washed out with clean 

coccoLiTHs OF ybgetabIa;^, not animal obigin. . 

Tha question of how the lowest forms of animal life which 
abound in the deep sea obtain their food where no vegetable 
life is present has long presented great difficulties to natural- 
ists. Mr. H. J. Carter, in a paper in the " Annals and Maga- 
zine of Natural History," cuts the Gordian knot by the hy- 
pothesis that the coccoliths and coccospheres found in such 
enormous numbers in deep-sea dredgings, and recently iden- 
tified by Gtlmbel and others as entering largely into the com- 
position of some very ancient rocks, are not, as held by Pro- 
fessor Bui^ley and others, animals of low organization, but 
are referable in fact to the vegetable kingdom. His conclu- 
sion has not, however, been generally accepted by natural- 


Most of our readers accustomed to the sea are familiar with 
the so-called hermit crabs, and their habit of taking possession 
of dead univalve shells, into which they retreat when dis- 
turbed, and which they carry around with them from place 
to place. In the United States these crabs are seldom of 
■large gize, on our Northern coast the largest finding their 
h6mes in the winkle or Pymla ; but in the East Indies they 
occupy still larger abodes, and are said to be in the habit of 
climbing stunted trees and devouring the eggs and young of- 
the gannets and frigate pelicans. — 2^, \^^^^ August 10, 133. 


In a communication to Nature^ Mr. John B. Perry, of the 
Museum of Comparative Zoology in Cambridge, ranges him- 
self among the number of those who oppose the theory of 
the organic origin of the JEozoon canadense, as maintained by 
Dr. William B. Carpenter, Dr. Dawson, of Montreal, etc. In 
reference to the so-called eozoon limestone in Chelmsford, 
Massachusetts, Mr. Perry states that this is not a sedimenta- 
ry rock, but that it occupied pocket* or oven-shaped cavities 


once plainly overarched by gneiss, and that it is foliated, 
there being a regular succession of leaf-like layera from the 
walls toward the centres of the cavities, witness to which is 
borne by a like succession of different minerals; that in some 
places it ramifies through the surrounding rock in a vein-like' 
way, while in others it exactly conforms with the most ab- 
rupt irregularities of the surface ; that in one locality •which 
he had repeatedly examined it conforms with the uneven por* 
tions of a mass of syenite, with which it is so associated as to 
reveal its more recent origin ; and that, therefore, it is not of 
nummulitic derivation, but was deposited in a vein-like form, 
the materials having been probably forced up into the cavi- 
ties from below while in a vapgrous state. — 12 A, May 11, 28, 


Of the discoveries in natural history within the past few 
years, scarcely any are considered of greater importance than 
that of Professor Huxley, of the occurrence, in the. depth of 
the ocean, of a living, organized mass of an animal nature, 
termed Bathyhina^ its relationships to other forms of animal 
life, both recent and fossil, having proved to be of the highest 
interest. This has recently been supplemented by the dis- 
covery, on the part of Dr. Greeff, of a somewhat similar sub- 
stance existing in fresh w^ater, which he characterizes as a 
shell-less fi-esh-water rhizopod, remarkable for its gigantic 
stature in comparison with all previous-known organisms of 
the kind. This substance, which he calls JPelobius (a name* 
which Nature^ from which we borrow this account, states to 
have long been preoccupi'ed)j occurs in many standing waters 
with a muddy bottom, especially such as have continued in 
that state for a long time without having dried up. This 
substance never disappears from these waters, but remains 
throughout the year, great masses appearing sometimes in 
one place and sometimes in another, in their external form 
presenting the appearance of more or less spherical lumps» 
varying from one or two millimetres in diameter down to the 
most minute points, scarcely perceptible by the naked eye. 
These are said to be so densely filled with mud particles,. di- 
atomaceaB, etc., that by transmitted light they can scarcely 
be distinguished from the actual mud without experience, apd 
careful examination ; t]^y may, consequeatly, be compared 


to a living mud. By direct light, on the other hand, they 
appear as grayish- white, yellowish, or brownish bodies. Their 
movements consist in an amoeboid and often lively creeping, 
by means of processes which are usually broad and lobate, 
during which the transparent body-substance often protrudes 
at the margins in elevations and undulations. This funda- 
mental substance of the body consists of a hyaline protoplasm 
of irregularly frothy or vesicular consistency, containing, be- 
sides the above-mentioned ingested particles, a great number 
of very peculiar elementary particles. Among these there 
may be distinguished round or roundish oval nucleiform bod- 
ies and fine bacilliform structures. Of the former by far the 
greater number consist of shining pale bodies without any 
special structural characters, but of great fii*mness, and pre- 
senting considerable resistance to reagents (acetic acid and 
caustic potash). These bodies may possibly be correlated 
with the coccoliths, etc., of Bathyhius, Besides these, how- 
ever, there are less numerous roundish nuclei of softer con- 
sistency, and with more or less finely granular contents, 
which, from their whole nature, must undoubtedly be regard^ 
ed as equivalent to the ordinary cell-nuclei. 

Hence, in spite of its great simplicity in other respects, Pe- 
lobius represents a pluricellular organism, and is not to be 
referred to the so-called monera, like Bathyhhis hczeckdii, ac- 
cording to the investigations of Huxley and Haeckel. Nev- 
ertheless, in connection with its possible relationship to Ba- 
thybius^ it must be noticed that the cell-nuclei of Belobitcs 
may occur in very variable quantity, often in so small a num- 
ber as almost to disappear altogether ; and farther, that they 
can be detected only in the perfectly fresh state. This latter 
statement applies also to the frothy vesicular arrangement 
of the body-substance, which disappears immediately after 
death or the application of reagents. 

The second kind of the chjef elementary parts oi Pddbius 
consists pf fine, clear, shining bacilli,, which are scattered 
through the whole body, and likewise present great resist- 
ance to the action of acetic acid and caustic potash. These 
were mentioned by Dr. Greeff in a former publication, when 
he expressed the opinion that they originate in certain nu- 
clei, which, however, he has since seen reason to doubt. 

We are promised farther details in regard to this substance, 



as much yet remains to be done for its proper elucidation. — 
12 ^jjfay 18, 50. 


In the course of an examination of the muscles of animals 
dying at Ceylon of the cattle-plague disease of that country, 
Mr. Boyd Morse discovered certain remarkable organisms, of 
which he has lately published an account in the London Mi- 
croscopical Journal. He suggests the inquiry as to their re- 
lationship to the entozoa, described by Dr. Lionel Beale as 
found in the muscles of animals dying of the same disease, 
arid thinks they may be their ova. They lie loose among the 
muscular fibres of the heart, sometimes in great numbers and 
at other times singly. There are several characteristic forms, 
all well figured in the article referred to. — Quart. Jour. Mic. 
Soc, December 1 , 1 870, 312. 

Richardson's hypothesis of a nervous ether. 

In a late number of the Popular Science Review Dr. Rich- 
ardson again brings forward his favorite theory in regard to 
a nervous ether, namely, that between the molecules of the 
animal matter, solid or fluid, of which the nervous organisms, 
and, indeed, of which all the organic parts of the body are 
composed, there exists a fine, subtile medium, vaporous or 
gaseous, which holds the molecules in a condition for motion 
upon each other, and for arrangement and rearrangement of 
form ; a medium by and through which all motion is convey- 
ed, and by and through which the one organ or part of the 
body is held in communion with the other parts, and by and 
through which the outer living world communicates with the 
living man ; a medium which, being present, enables the phe- 
nomena of life to be demonstrated, and which, being univer- 
sally absent, leaves the body dead — that is, in such condition 
that it can not, by any phenomenon of motion, prove itself to 
be alive. • * 

According to the doctor, the evidence in favor of the exist- 
ence of an elastic medium pervading the nervous matter, and 
capable of being influenced by simple pressure, is perfectly sat- 
isfactory. Numerous experimental facts suggest that there 
exists in the nerves an actual material* mobile agent — a some- 
thing more than the solid matter which the eye c^n see and 


G: general natural history and zoology. 233 

the finger touch. He therefore is led to believe that there is 
another forin of matter present ; during life, which exists in 
the condition of vapor or gas, which pervades the whole per- 
sonal organism, surrounds, as an enveloping atmosphere, each 
molecule of nervous structure, and is the medium of all mo- 
tion communicated to or froni the nervous centres. 
, The source of this refined matter in the body he considers 
to be the blood, and he looks upon it as a vapor distilled from 
the bloody as being persistently formed, so long as the blood 
circulates at the^natural temperature, and as being diffused 
into th6 nervous matter, to which it gives quality for every 
function performed by the nervous organization. In the 
closed cavities, containing nervous structure, the cavities of 
the skull and spinal column, this gaseous matter, or ether, as 
he terms itj sustains a given requisite tension ; in all parts of 
the nervous structure it surrounds the molecules of nervous 
matter, separates thenl from each other, and yet is between 
them a bond and medium of communication. 

In estimating and defining the physical properties of this 
nervous ether he suggests that it is a gas or vapor, having in 
its elementary construction carbon, hydrogen, and possibly 
nitrogen. He thinks that it is condensable under cold, mov- 
able under pressure, diffusible by heat, insoluble in the blood, 
and holdings at the natural temperature of the body, a ten- 
sion requisite for natural function. In his opinion it is re- 
tained for a longer time after death in cold-blooded than in 
warm-blooded animals, and longer in warm-blooded animals 
that have died in cold than in those that h^ve died in heat. 

It is not, according to his idea of it, in itself active, nor an 
excitant ' of animal motion in the sense of a force, but it is 
essential as supplying the conditions by which the motion is 
rendered possible ; as serving as a conductor of all vibrations 
of heat, light, sound, electrical action, and of mechanical fric- 
tion. It holds the nervous system throughout in perfect ten- 
sion during perfect states of life. By exercise it is disposed 
of, and when the demand for it is greater than the supply, its 
deficiency is indicated by nervous collapse or exhaustion. It 
accumulates in the nervous centres during sleep, bringing 
them to their due tone, and thus rousing the muscles to 
awakening or renewed life. The body, fully renewed by it, 
presents capacity for motion, fullness of form, and life. . The 



body^berefl of it, presents inertia, the configuration of shrunk 
death," the evidence of having lost something phyfiical that 
was in it when it lived. — 6 ^4, October^ 1871, 379. 


Dr. Craig, of the Medical Service of the United States Army, 
prosecuted some experiments during the hot summer of 1870, 
as published in the American Journal of Science, in reference 
to the influence of external physical conditions upon the tem- 
perature of the human body. The highest bodily tempera* 
ture observed by him during that time was 99.7° JFahr. He 
states that below 99° he did not feel uncomfortably hot ; but 
when 99.2° was reached, then the sensation of suffering from 
heat came on. By the prolonged use of the shower-bath he 
was able to reduce his temperature to 97.7° in the hottest 
weather, which constituted a very great amelioration of his 
sensations. He concluded that the discomfort we feel in hot 
weather is not from the heat on the surface, but from the sec* 
ondary efiect of heating the whole body. Should the inter- 
nal heat of the body be raised above 100^, he thinks that ap- 
oplexy and sun-stroke would be quite likely to supervene. 
Judging from some experiments recorded elsewhere, Dr. Craig 
thinks that a i*eduction of the temperature as low as 83^ Fahr., 
by external application of cold, is as great as it is safe to ven- 
ture upon. — 4 2>, November, 1871, 330. 


Professor Beniard, of Paris, has lately published a report 
of a series of experiments instituted by him in regard to the 
effect of heat upon animals, in the cpuree of which he shows 
that in all cases exposure to high temperature produces an 
increase in the rapidity of the action of the heart ; that the 
animaPs breathing becomes hurried ; and that, after a certain 
period, which is more quickly attained in birds than in mam- 
mals, the heart, if the temperature be sufficiently high, stops 
suddenly, the whole temperature of the animal being at the 
same time raised several degrees above its standai*d temper* 

On placing a bird or rabbit in the cage used for the exper- 
iments, the air of which was about 160° Fahr., and dry, anxie- 
ty was quickly manifested, the respirations became tumultu* 


ous, and death speedily ensued (in four minutes for the bird, 
and in twenty for the rabbit). 

The temperature in the rectum rose from 104° to 122° Fahr. 
(bird), or 115° F. (rabbit), and the heart in both animals was 
absolutely quiescent, while cadaveric rigidity was established 
with extraordinary rapidity, and the arteries as well as the 
veins contained black blood. The professor also verified the 
experiments of Bichat In reference to the behavior of the 
muscles of organic life and the striated muscles in regard to 
temperature, showing that the former are actually more sen- 
sitive than the thermometer to slight variations of heat, any 
increase of temperature actually calling forth peristaltic move- 
ments in the intestines of a rabbit which had become quies* 
cent after exposure to the surrounding air. This action is di* 
rect, and is not communicated through the nervous system. 

The exciting action of heat, of course, has a limit, and this 
is shown in the case of an animal exposed to a gradually ris- 
ing temperature by the heai*t beating faster and faster, till at 
length it stops, dead, with complete loss of irritability. The 
cause of this cessation is, as Professor Bernard thinks, paitly 
chemical, and due to the coagulation of the santonin or my- 
elin ; ; though, when life is prolonged for several days, other 
causes, as yet undetermined, and affording a field for investi- 
gation, co-operate. — 1 3 -4, September 15, 1 871, 441. 


In a memoir by Bert upon the influence exercised upon vi- 
tal phenomena by variations in barometrical pressure, it is 
stated that if the atmospheric pressure to which a warm- 
blooded vertebrate is exposed be suddenly reduced to fifteen 
or eighteen centimetres of the barometrical scale, the animal 
jumps about convulsively, is attacked with cramps, and dies 
very quickly, with bloody foam in the bronchia. Death oc- 
curs with equal suddenness whenever the receiver under which 
the animal is placed is closed, or is cut off from the external 
atmosphere. In the first case the surrounding air is scarcely 
changed, but in both cases the blood in the left cavity of the 
heart is dark. 

On the other hand, should the pressure be diminished grad- 
ually, and the air be continually renewed in the apparatus, 
the animal can be kept alive for a long time. Should the 


receiver be closed, however, the animal dies with asphyxia. 
The composition of the air in which animals die varies with 
the pressure. Birds can be kept living when the pressure is 
reduced below eighteen centimetres. Mammals can sustain 
a reduction to twelve centimetres, but under these circum- 
stances their temperature diminishes by several degrees. 

Cold-blooded, and some new-born animals, can sustain a 
still greater diminution of pi-essure. The less the pressure 
at which the animal suffocates, the more oxygen and the less 
carbon are found in the remaining air. The animals which, 
at the same pressure of the atmosphere, leave most oxygen— 
that is, form least carbonic acid — are falcons, owls, and grown 
<^ats ; then come the sparrows, and afterward frogs and new- 
born cats. — 18 C, August 15, 1871, 617. 



We have already referi'ed to the observations by M. Bert 
upon the effects produced upon animals by diminished atmos- 
pheric pressure, and we now have a report from hi^ upon the 
phenomena presented when this pressure is increased. The 
aiiimals experimented upon were sparrows, rats, and frogs, 
placed in a vessel of the capacity of one quart, in which about 
fifteen minutes were required to obtain a pressure of nine 
atmospheres. This increase, however rapidly produced, ap- 
peared to exercise scarcely any effect upon the animal, the 
respiration only becoming feeble at about the time when the 
phenomena peculiar to asphyxia commenced, the animal ex- 
piring with convulsions, with an internal temperature of 80° 
to 92° Fahrenheit — that is to say, scarcely above that of the 
surrounding air. After death, under a pressure greater than 
two atmospheres, very red blood was found not only in the 
arteries, but in the veinte; and with a pressure above five at- 
mospheres numerous bubbles of gas appeai*ed in the right 
cavities of the heart, which were not disengaged by the re- 
turn to the normal pressure. Sparrows could not bear with 
impunity a pressure, of over seven or eight atmospheres, and 
in 'some instances, if the asphyxia was very decided, they 
seemed to perish suddenly by an abrupt decompression. In 
this case they were found to have free gas in the right side 
of the heait. — 3 J5, xix., September 7, 1871, 624. 



In the course of some late experiments by Glase upon the 
effects of administering small quantities of curare in succes- 
sive injections, it was asceitained that the animal becomes at 
each injection more and more sensitive to the poison, and 
finally reaches a state in which an extremely small quantity 
produces immediate convulsions, and even death. The injec- 
tions may be intermitted for days, and yet the animal remain 
as sensitive as before. The author believes that the system 
becomes adapted to the poison in such a way as to absorb it 
more rapidly, and that an actual change in some of the nerv- 
ous centres occurs. This can not be considered as a case of 
so-called cumulative poisoning, since the animal remains per- 
fectly healthy between the doses. — 12 A, Sept. 21, 1871,403. 


In a series of experiments upon the refrigeration of warm- 
blooded animals by Dr.Horvath, a young dog was cooled to 
such a degree that the temperature in the rectum descended 
to 40° Fahrenheit ; yet the animal, on the application of heat, 
revived, perfectly uninjured. 

In another experiment, where the same region in a rabbit 
indicated 45°, and in a cat 49°, neither the action of the heat 
nor of the respiratory movement could be perceived. On the 
restoration of warmth by pouring warm water over these an- 
imals (which had remained for an hour in a state of appa- 
rent death), spontianeous contractions of the heart, which had 
ceased for an hour, were observed. The electrical current ap- 
plied directly to the muscles induced energetic contractions 
in the same muscles which, before the warmth was applied, 
were insensible to the strongest el^trical action. Another 
interesting and important fact was, that in an animal which 
was first refrigerated apd then warmed, it was not possible 
to excite! the action of the musdes of the skeleton by even 
the strongest electrical stimulus when applied to its nerves, 
while! the same muscles, on the direct application of the cur- 
rent, contracted energetically. The fact that we can sepa- 
rate nervous and muscular energy from each oth&r by this 
agency, which hitherto it has only been possible to do by the 
employment of ^curare, promises to be of good service in fu- 


ture researches concerning the physiology of the muscular 
and nervous systems. — 20 A, 1871,365. 


Dr. William Ogle has recently made a communication to 
the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London upon 
what he calls "dextral pre-eminence," in which he takes 
ground against the most, generally accepted doctrine that 
the use of the right hand is based on conventional agreement, 
enforced by educational influence, without the existence of 
any natural tendency in physical formation. In support of 
his views he remarks that the preferential use of one side is 
not limited to the arm, but extends to the leg, which is not 
subjected to education like the arms. The tendency to use 
one side preferentially manifests itself before education be- 
gins, and often persists in spite of efforts made to overcome 
it. Left-handedness resembles many physical malformations 
in being hereditary, in running in families, and in attaching 
itself rather to the male sex than to the female. Statistics 
are given of its relatively frequent tendency in the two sex- 
es. The author also gave, an account of his observations in 
this matter upon other animals than man ; monkeys and par- 
rots especially showing that they also have a tendency to use 
one side preferentially. 

Having shown that there must be some one or other struc- 
tural foundation for ri^ht-handedness, he next considers what 
this may be, and states as the result of his inquiries that an 
actual structural difference has been detected in many cases 
between the two hemispheres of the brain, and that while the 
left is the more complex in right-handed individuals, the con- 
trary is the case with those who are left-handed. 

He also remarks thaff in most cases of the normal condi- 
tion, namely, when the right-hand is used habitually, the left 
hemisphere of the brain is larger, in consequence of receiving 
a freer supply of blood than the right, the left arteries being, 
as a rule, slightly larger than ihe right ones ; and independ- 
ently of the size of the vessels, the stream of blood is less 
on the left side than the right. This explanation is corrobo- 
rated, acdOrding to the author, by the peculiarities of the cer- 
ebral blood supply in those animals which manifest a puden- 
cy to use one side rather than the other, as in the case of 


parrots. — FtocItoycU'Med, and CHir.Soc. London^YL^ 1871, 
vra., 392. 


Among objects of great ethnological import are the abo- 
riginal inscriptions or carvings upon rocks, which* are met 
with in North America and elsewhere, and are sometimes of 
a very remarkable character. Ordinary copies of such in- 
scriptions, unless they be photographs, are rarely of sufficient 
accuracy to be of much value ; and those of our readers who 
are likely to come across such inscriptions may like to know 
a method by which an absolutely perfect fac-simile can be 
)nade. This process has been applied with much success in 
copying carvings in Egypt and other places, and it will be 
equally serviceable in our own country. For this purpose 
the inscription is to be first well cleaned from dust or mud by 
inean3 of a hard, stiff brush ;. stout, unsized paper is then to 
be wetted rapidly, but uniformly, in a tub of water, and ap- 
plied to the inscription, and forced into the irregularities by 
repeated and forciblestrokes.with a hard brush — an ordinary 
clothes-brush being as good as any for the purpose. If the 
stone be clear of dust the paper adheres, and, when dry, falls 
off, forming a perfect mould of the inscription. If the carv- 
ing be deep or bi*oad it is sometimes advisable to apply sev- 
eral sheets of paper, one after the other, brushing over the 
surface of one with glue or gum before applying the next, so 
as to obtain, when dry, a firm body. By making a plaster 
cast of the papei^ relief thus prepared, a fac-simile of the in^ 
Bcription will be obtained. — 13 A^ May 15, 1871, 276. 



It has been a question whether vegetable and animal sub-« 
stances containing phosphorus give off phosphureted hydro- 
gen when indicating putrefaction. If answered affirmative- 
ly, it would show eitber that phosphorus exists in tUe organ- 
ism in some other form than that of phosphoric acid, or that,* 
under the influence of putrefaction, reducing substances are 
formed of so energetic a nature that even phosphoric acid is 
deprived of its oxygen. It is difficult to conceive that either 
of these things could happen. In the animal organism ener*- 



getic processes of oxidation go on; hence lower degrees. of- 
oxidation can not arise, nor combinations of phosphorus .with 
other elements, for such combinations would be quickly oxi- 
dized into phosphoric acid. 

In special experiments in regard to this subject by Plosz, 
fishes were used as best adapted for the. purpose, not only on 
account of the large proportion of leucithine, which they con- 
tain, but also because it is probable that they contain anoth- 
er phosphorized body in the nuclei of their blood corpuscles. 
The fishes were beaten to a pulp, and laid aside with a little 
water, for putrefaction to set in. The external air was ex- 
cluded, so that only that air which was contained in the fiask 
could act as an oxygeqant. A disengagement of gas quickly 
took place. The gas given off was conducted through a so* 
lution of silver nitrate, in which it produced a. dark brown 
precipitate. The generation of gas ceased after some time, 
but was renewed as soon as air. was admitted into the appa- 
ratus. In this manner four parallel experiments were made, 
and the whole precipitate formed during a period of five 
weeks was employed in the examination for phosphorus and 
sulphur. For this purpose the precipitate, was acted upon 
with nitro-hydrochloric acid, every precaution being taken, 
and tested for sulphuric and phosphoric acids. Sulphuric acid 
was found in abundance, but no phosphoric acid could be de- 
tected. — 21 A, August, 1811, 734. 


Professor Theodore Meynert, in a late number of the Me- 
moirs of the Anthropological Society of Vienna, presents an 
elaborate discussion of the difi^rences in the structure of the 
brain of man from that of the other mammalia. His remarks 
are too technical for our columns, but the general conclusion 
^arrived at is that differences exist which are of a fundament- 
al character, and by which even the most closely allied an- 
thropoid apes can be distinguished from man. 


By late advices from the extreme north of the continent, 
we learn that small-pox and measles have continued to make 
fearful ravages among the natives. Entire bands of Esqui- 
maux, in the region between the. mouths of the Mackenzie and 


the Coppermine, h%ve been exterminated by.' measles ; and. in 
a settlement of 600 half-breeds, near Fort Edmonton, on the 
Saskatchewan, 180 have already died of the small-pox^ the dis- 
ease being still in full activity. 


Mr. Rupert Jones has lately published, extracts from a let- 
ter written by a friend in South Africa, containing a reference 
to certain old paintings found upon the walls of caves, and 
made by the Bushmen. These pictures are said to be very 
varied, and to constitute a faithful representation of the man- 
ners,' customs, modes of warfare, weapons, etc., of the race 
mentioned. Three different series of paintings were met with, 
one over the other; and as the most recent were believed to 
be upward of fifty years old, it was inferred.that the under- 
most were very ancient. The colors are permanent, being de- 
rived from the ochreous concretions abounding in some of 
the sandstones of the' interior of Africa, which, when broken 
open, are found to contain various shades of yellows, browns, 
reds, etc., the broken concretions themselves serving as paint- 
pots. The importance of copying. these paintings, arid ren- 
dering them available for ethnological investigations, is urged 
on account of the fact that the Caffres are constantly destroy- 
ing tliem, so that in the course of a few years they will prob- 
ably become entirely obliterated. — 12 -4, Dec. 8, 1870, 101. 


An examination has recently been made by an officer of 
the United States Army of an old pueblo situated about twen- 
ty-five miles' from the town of Socorro, on the Rio Grande. 
The walls of the buildings of this pueblo a^e composed of 
thin sandstone, heaped one layer upon another, without mor- 
tar, and without any traces of beams or timber of any kind. 
The edifices seem to have been but one story high, and to have 
cotisisted of four separate buildings, arranged so as to form 
a hollow square, with a fifth a little outside of these. The 
longest range was over two hundred feet in length, and the 
whole five contained about two hundred rooms. Near. the 
pueblo extensive silver mines have. recently been discovered, 
and a^town is to be laid out during the present year, tlie: ma- 
terial for the houses t(^ be derived fro^the rains. There are 



evidences of ancient workings of these mijies in the form of 
shafts now entirely filled up with earth, although it is prob- 
able that these do not antedate the period of the occupation 
of the country by the Spaniards. 


In a paper by Mr.Petrie on ancient modes of sepulture in 
the Orkneys, presented to the British Association, he states 
that sepulchral mounds were very frequent there, generally 
on elevations. The skeletons were often discovered in a sit- 
ting posture. Mr. Flower considered this an interesting an- 
nouncement, as it had been observed in every country in 
Europe, as well as in Peru, India, and Africa. Herodotus, in 
his account of the AvtocMhoneB^ a people who lived in the 
vicinity of what is now called Tunis, says that they always 
placed their dying friends in a sitting posture to await their 
last hour ; and it seems that they so buried their dead. In 
reference to this, it may be remarked that among the North 
American Indians it was generally customary to dig the 
graves on the southern slope of a hill, and to bury the dead 
in a sitting posture, with their faces toward th^ south. — 12 
-4, August 24, 1871, 335. 


Mr. Boyd Dawkins, an expert in such mattei*s, has lately 
discovered some interesting pre-historic caves, of the neolith- 
ic period, in Denbighshire, England. One of these extended 
horizontally into the rock, and was blocked up with earth and 
large masses of stone, and contained numerous broken bon^s 
of animals that had been eaten, such as the dog, fox, badger, 
horned sheep, Oeltic short-horn, roe, stag, horse, wild bo^r, 
domestic hog, etc. With these were associated a number of 
polished stone instruments and scrapers, fragments of pottery, 
etc., and a number of human skeletons, which appeared to 
have been buried originally in a sitting posture, varying in 
age from infancy upward. 

The most interesting peculiarity of these skeletons con- 
sisted in the fact of their possessing the peculiar flattened 
conditions of the forward portion of the shin now knowa 
as the platycnemic, and found in great development in our 
mound*builders, accor^g to Professor Wyman. The cratiiid 


-eapaeity of these remleuQS appears not to be inferior to that 
of oiyilized man of the present age, although the ridges and 
processes for muscles indicated a greater physical power. — 
;12 Aj JSeptember 14, 1871, 388. 


The committee appointed to explore the '' Grotto of the 
Dead," near Alois, in France, report that from their latest 
researches, thi^ cavern, so interesting in an ethnological point 
of view, seems to be a " feult," occupied originally by a vein 
of lead ore, and that this had been taken out, and the cavity 
subsequently utilized, first as a dwelling-place, and then as a 
place of sepulture for the race which has been found therein. 
(Kf ueb interest is attached to the further exploration of this 
deposit.—! JSj October 22, 1871, 48. 


Mr. Harris has recently presented to the Anthropological 
Idstitute of London a collection of wood-carvings, pottery, 
and cotton rags from Macabi Island, off the coast of Peru. 
The rags extended over a bed of many hundred yards in area, 
with an average thickness of five feet, and below a deposit 
of several feet of guaflo.* The wood and pottery were dis- 
covered at a depth, in the guano, of from fifteen to forty-five 
feet.— -15 Ay July 1, 1871, 21. 


At the late annual dinner of the Royal Academy of En- 
gland^ Professor Huxley, in returning thanks for the Royal 
Society, stated that he was at last able to present a tangible 
distinction between men and animals. The old difierences 
BO constantly relied upon have one by one proved to be un- 
satisfactory. Thus other species besides man walk on two 
legs, and have no feathers.; caterpillars make themselves 
clothes, iv^hile kangaroos have pockets; the dog reasons and 
loves much as one's neighbors do; parrots, again, utter what 
des^ves the name of sense as much as a great deal of that 
which it would be rude to call nonsense;, and beavers and 
ants engineer as well as the members* of the noblest of pro- 
fessions* After all, however^ man alone can draw, or make 
unto himself a likeness. This, then, should be considered the 


great distinction of hamanity ; and the most pre-eminently 
human of creatures are those that possess this distinction in 
the highest degree. Consequently the luost eminent of the 
artists of the day is to be considered the highest specimen 
of mankind 1—20 A, May 6, 18V1, 617. 



The accomplished anatomist, Professor W. H. Flower, to- 
ward the end of last year published '^An Introduction to the 
Osteology of the Mammalia, being the substance of the course 
of lectures delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons of En- 
gland in 18Y0," which is one of the most valuable and satis- 
factory compendiums hitherto published. Combining in au 
eminent degree great anatomical knowledge, and that acute 
appreciation of relations which mark the systematic zoolo- 
gist, he has produced a work which is addressed to both 
classes. Commencing with a summary of the classification 
of the mammalia, he makes known, in successive chapters, the 
general characters of the skeleton and vertebral column, and 
its modifications in the various orders, considering in separate 
chapters the cervical, the thoracic and lumbar, and the sacral 
and caudal vertebrae, as well as the Isternura and the ribs, 
and in succeeding chapters the modifications, in the various 
orders, of the skull, the shoulder girdle, the fore limb, the 
pelvic girdle, and the hind limb ; and a concluding chapter 
is given on " the correspondence between the bones of the an- 
terior and posterior extremity, and the modifications of the 
positions of the limbs.'* The subject-matter of the last chap- 
ter has excited much interest among American anatomists, 
some of whom claim that there is an antero-posterior sym- 
metry in animals, and that in the posterior members the hom- 
ologue of the thumb is found, not in the great toe, but in the 
outer or smaller one. Professor Flower, however, contends 
that *' it is necessary to place the limbs (at least in imagina- 
tion) in an exactly corresponding position — one,in fact, which 
is often impossible in the adult animal, on account of the mod- 
ifications of the articular sui*faces to shit the posture best 
adapted for the habits and mode of life of the individual, but 
which is the position of iall limbs when they first appear as 
budlike processes from the side of the body of the embryo." 


This primordial condition is most approximated, among mam- 
mals, by the flying lemur ( Galeopithecus) and sloths, and is 
very nearly the normal position of some reptiles, especially 
the tortoises. The chief modifications consist in the rotation 
backward, from its primitive position, of the humerus, and the 
rotation forward of the fem'Ur. Finally, " there can be no 
qaestion but that the carpus and tarsus, the metacarpus and 
metatarsus, and the various digits, beginning at the poUex 
(thumb) in the one, and the hallux (great toe) in the other, 
are really homologous : the circumstance of the constant ab- 
sence of one of the bones of the preaxia> digit in both fore 

and hind limbs is most significant." 



At the meeting of the Boston Society of Natural History 
for March 1, a communication was presented by Mr. George 
Sceva, in which attention was called to the fact of the short- 
ness of the upper jaws in the skulls of the Hindoos, and the 
frequent absence of the third molar. This generalization was 
based upon the examination of a number of crania; and it 
was found that about fifteen per cent, of the whole exhibit 
this peculiarity, while in an extensive series of skulls of Eu- 
ropean races only about one per cent, showed the same feat- 


Mr. St. George Mivart, an eminent English comparative an- 
atomist, and one of the few first-class naturalists of the pres- 
ent day who positively oppose in their writings the views of 
Mr. Darwin as to the modus operandi of evolution, has late- 
ly called attention, in Nature^ to the omission, on the part of 
that gentleman, to cite the species of monkey actually most 
nearly related to man, in his opinion. According to his view, 
it is in the gibbons, or long-armed apes, of the genus Hylo- 
bates, that the closest affinities to. the human structure are to 
be met with ; and although there are, perhaps, more points 
of apparent relationship between man and the chimpanzee, 
gorilla^ or orangj, than between man and the gibbon, yet there 
are certain points in which the latter genus resembles Homo 
in a more striking and significant degree. Although the 
enormous length of the arms of the gibbon apparently disr 



countenances the idea of relationship, yet Professor Huxley 
has shown that these are singularly human. Among the 
marked resemblances, the length of the leg as compared trith 
the trunk, and the form and propoi'tion of the bony thorax, 
are especially noteworthy. 

Furthermore, one species of^ gibbon (the siamang) is the 
only ape that possesses a true chin, together with a slight 
prominence of the nose. The power, quality, and compass 
of voice in the gibbons are dwelt upon by Mr. Darwin as re- 
markably related to man, and also the gentle, yet quick and 
active nature. While making these suggestions, however^ 
Mr. Mivart takes especial occasion to renew the expression 
of his antagonism to Mr. Darwin's theory of natural selection, 
taking into consideration the totality of man's being, and re- 
marks that, so considered, science conviilOeB him that a mon- 
key and a mushroom differ less from each other than do a 
monkey and a man. — 12 -4, April 20, 481. 


A report has recently been made to the Legislature of 
Massachusetts by Mr. Richard L. Pease, of Edgartown, upon 
the numbers and present condition of the Indians now occu- 
pying the southwestern point of Martha's Vineyard, known 
as the district of Gay Head, prepared with special reference 
to the change in the policy of the state concerning these In- 
dians, as well as several other remnants of.the descendants 
of the aboriginal inhabitants. This change consisted in the 
abolition of the original condition of wardship, or their con- 
version into citizens having equal privileges with other mem- 
bers of the commonwealth. This was determined upon not 
merely on account of the former political anomaly, but be- 
cause these people are not really Indians in any sense of the 
word, since, by repeated intermarriages with whites, negroes, 
Sandwich Islanders, etc., they have been transformed into a 
mixed race, totally different from the aboriginal inhabitants. 

The whole number of the so-called Indians at Gay Head, 
according to the report, is 237, most of the men being sea- 
men, farmers, and laborers, and a few engaged in mechanical 

They are an industrious, hard-working community, living 
in comfortable houses, and as anxious to make money as their 



neighbors of purer blood. In the original political condition 
of these people the lands were all held in common, bat meas- 
ures are now being taken to divide them, under the provi- 
sions of the act by which Gay Head is made a township. — 
Meport of H. L. Pease to the Massachtmtts Legislature. 


No recent palseontological announcement has been of more 
interest than the discoveiy in the small island of Anguilla, in 
the West Indies, of fossil remains of extinct species of verte- 
brate animals, among them rodents of enormous size* These 
are closely allied to the chinchilla, which furnishes the well- 
known South American fur ; but instead of being of about 
the size of a small rabbit, the largest fully equaled a cow in 
its dimensions, constituting the largest rodent on record, and 
considerably exceeding in bulk the castoroides^ or fossil bea- 
ver of the United States. Of the remains thus far identified 
by Professor Cope there are five rodents, one deer, and two 
birdsl In the same communication Professor Cope announces 
the discovery, in the collections of the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion, of a new fossil lizard from New Mexico, which must have 
been about one hundred feet in length, being probably the lon- 
gest known reptile. — iVbc. Am. Phil. Soc.^ December^ 1870. 


At a meeting of the New York Lyceum of Natural History, 
held during last autumn. Professor Newberry, the president, 
exhibited the anterior portion of the cranium of a walrus 
which had been found during the summer at Long Bi*anch, 
by a gentleman whose foot struck against it while bathing. ^ 
It was strongly silicified, but exhibited no appreciable difrer" 
euce from modem specimens. The precise age of this fossil 
could not, of course, be ascertained, although it is well known 
that its range was formerly much south of its prescmt habitat. 
It is not unfrequently brought down on floating ice off the 
coast.of Newfoundland; and although Labrador is at present 
the southern limit of its residence, it was once very abundant 
in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and its remains have been found 
in the shell-heaps of the Bay of Fundy. It is probable that 
the specimen exhibited by Professor Newberry is a relic of 
the glacial period, although it was suggested that it might 


hatve been of the tertiiary age, which probably can not be 
verified. Other specimens of similar character are recorded 
as having been found on Martha^s Vineyard ; in Monmouth 
County, New Jersey; and in Accomac County, Virginia. — 
Proci New York Lyceum^ October^ 1 870, Y5. 


In the course of a critical examination by Professor Cope 
of certain fossil fishes found oh the Green River, in Wyoming, 
he discovered specimens of a species ofOsteoglossum of large 
size, and previously undescribed. A specially interesting 
feature connected with this discovery lies in the fact that 
the genus is at present represented by living species in New 
Zealand, Borneo, and Brazil ; but it has not hitherto been 
found in North America, nor is it any where known as a 
fossil. — JProc. Am, Phil, Soc, 


Professor Dawson, of Montreal, has lately discovered in the 
Siluro-Devonian beds on the north side of 6asp6 Bay the first 
knot^oi American species of the genus Cephaktspis^ a kind of 
fossil fish especially familiar to all readers of Hugh Miller^s 
works, as one of the forms which he was particularly suc- 
cessful in procuring. It has been recently described by Mr. 
E. R; Lankester, and QdWediCephalcL^is dawsoni^ after its dis- 


The last number of the American Journal of Science records 
the discovery of a large part of the skeleton of a mastodon 
near lUipolis, Illinois. One of the tusks proved to be nearly 
ten feet in length, and twenty-nine inches in circumference 
three feet from the lower end. All the bones were in a fair 
state of preservation, and of a dark, spongy, and porous ap- 
pearance. It is probable that the specimens will be added 
to the collections of fossils now being gathered together by 
Professor Worthen for the state cabinet. 


At the meeting of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural 
Science, January 3, insti, Professor O. C. Marsh, of Yale Ool- 


lege, exhibited a tooth of a new species oiLophiodon (a tapir- 
like animal), from the miocene marl of Cumberland County, 
New Jersey, which is the first indication of the remains of 
the tapir family on the Atlantic coast, or of the genus Xo- 
phiodon in this country east of the Rocky Mountain region. 
This species, which was named Lophiodoh vaUdus,waB prob- 
ably a contemporary of the Mhinoceros matutihus, described 
by Professor Marsh, from remains found at the same geolog- 
ical horizon in Monmouth County New Jersey. 


The discovery of an ancient bone cave near Phoenixville, 
Pennsylvania, about twenty-five miles northwest of Phila- 
delphia, has excited the greatest interest among naturalists. 
Professor Cope has been actively engaged in the investiga- 
tion- of the collection, and already reports the existence of 
about thirty species of vertebrates, together with numerous 
plants and insects. All of these, so far as known, are probably 
of extinct species, although their precise relationships have 
not yet been fully worked out. Among the reptiles were tor- 
toises and serpents, and of birds there was a turkey and a 
snipe. The mammals, as Professor Cope anticipated, were 
most numerous, these including two carnivorous animals of 
large size, one of them a cat, and the other a bear, previously 
described by Dr. Leidy, of a remarkable type, and totally dis- 
tinct from the cave bear, or any living species of either Eu- 
rope or America. At least three species of sloths were discov- 
ered, mostly of gigantic size, one of them a species of Mega* 
lonyXy and two of the Mylpdon. Besides these there were 
some ruminating animals, tapirs, and a small horse. With 
the other remains were the teeth and tusks of the mastodon. 
The fissure in which the bones were f<^nd was forty feet deep 
and fifteen feet wide ; the length as yet has not been deter- 
mined. Above the deposit of bones the cave was filled with 
washings of the triassic age from the neighboring hills. 


In the recently published proceedings of the American Phil- 
osophical Society we find a more detailed account than has 
yet appeared of the contents of the remarkable post-pliocene 
bone cave of Port Kennedy, near Philadelphia, of which we 



have already made repeated mention. This, as may be re*- 
memberedy was first explored by Mr. Charles M. Wheatley, of 
Phoenixville, and part of the material collected placed in the 
hands of Professor Cope for elaboration. In the present pam- 
per we have fuller indications of the results than heretofore, 
and we learn that thirty-four species of mammals, in all, have 
been obtained, nearly all of them extinct species, and a large 
proportion of them new to science. Of birds there are two 
species, a turkey and a snipe ; also two species of tortoises, 
three or four of serpents, and a few batrachians. Of insects 
there are thirteen species of coleoptera, and two or three of 
other brdei*s. In summing up the results obtained from these 
investigations. Professor Cope calls attention to the inference 
already drawn by himself and Professor Leidy as to the great 
diflference in character between the post-pliocene fauna of 
North America and that of previous portions of the tertiary 
period ; and the fact that, while the miocene mammalia are 
more or less similar to those of miocene Europe and Asia, and 
the pliocene vertebrata have a corresponding resemblance to 
those of the same period of Europe and Asia and the present 
one of Africa, the post-pfiocene resemble, in many particulars, 
those of South America. 

As, therefore, the difference in these faunas is too great to 
have been produced in so comparatively short an interval of 
time by evolution, if this be admitted as an element, we must 
look to marked changes in the relative distribution of land 
and water for the cause. It is therefore supposed that Atxr^ 
ing the pliocene period, when the geographical affinities of 
America were westward, especially with Asia, a continent ex* 
isted in the region now occupied T>y the Northern Pacific, 
which formed a connection between the two lands,.over which 
the migratory movemehts could take place. 

The difierence from the South American fauna, at the same 
time, indicates also a separation by water, and the probable 
absence of any connection between Costa Rica on the one 
side and the higher lands of Colombia on the other. The oc- 
.currence then of the glacial epoch brought about the destruc- 
tion of the pliocene fauna, while, at the same period, the con- 
nection with Asia was severed by the submergence of this 
Northern Pacific continent. At the time of the northward 
retreat of the ice-sheet, mammalian life was probably extitict 



in North America, and a renewal could not be obtained from 
either Asia or Europe, as these were cut off by water, but the 
concomitant elevation of Panama and other portions of Mid- 
dle America furnished a bridge over which travel could be 
accomplished. In this view is explained the preponderance 
of South American types in the post-pliocene period, since, of 
the remains from the Port Kennedy cave, out of thirty-four 
we have eleven belonging to purely South American forms, 
eleven genera common to both hemispheres, and nine of 
doubtful position. 

Again, a further modification of the fauna has been effect- 
^ ed by the change of level which took place between the time 
of the introduction of the post-pliocence fauna and the pres- 
ent period, this consisting in an extensive submergence of 
land, especially in arctic latitudes. This, according to Pro- 
fessor Dana, as quoted by Professor Cope, near Montreal was 
450 feet or more, and in the arctic regions 1000 feet. This 
descent of l^vel Professor Bana considers to have been the 
cause of tiie melting of the glacial ice, the stratification of 
the drift, the deposition :of gravels, and elevation of temper- 
ature, ^11 these changes naturally preceding the introduction 
of post-glacial fauna from a warmer region. The Champlain 
epoch is regarded as opening tlj^e post-pliocene, and its fauna 
to be represented by the walrus, which extended its range to 
Virginia, the reindeer, reaching to New Jersey, and by the 
white whale. — Proc. ^mer. Phil. Society^ 18V1 , 75. 


Ib a recent communication to the Academy of Natural Sci- 
ences, by Professor Leidy, attention was invited to certain 
- teeth of fossil mammals forwarded to him for examination by 
Professor Whitney. One of these was a fragment belonging 
to the Mastodon americanua^ obtained from a depth of eighty 
^ feet beneath the basaltic lava of Table Mountain, Tuolumne 

I County, California, where it was found associated with the re- 

mains of human art. There was also a molar of a large fossil 
horse found sixteen feet below the surface on Gordon Gulch. 
Two other teeth, somewhat similar in character, were deter- 
mined as belonging to the species o^ Protohippua. In other 
specimens Dr. Leidy found evidences of the existence of a 
gigantic animal of the camel tribe, allied to the llama. — 2 J^, 




An interesting discovery has lately been made in England 
of the detection in a bone cave of the remains of the wolver- 
ine, or glutton. This, according to a correspondent in JVa- 
turCj is of the greatest interest, asoccurring in a region where 
bones of the reindeer, moose, etc., had previously been found, 
and upon which this animal in pre-historic, as now in more 
modem, times was accustomed to feed. — 12 Ay March SO, 


Professor Leidy has lately announced to the Philadelphia 
Academy of Natural Sciences the existence of some new fos- 
sil mammals from the tertiary formations of Wyoming Terri- 
tory. One was a lower jaw, discovered by Dr. J. Van A. 
Carter, in the vicinity of Fort Biidger. The animal to which 
it belonged was as large as a hog, but was more nearly allied 
to the rhinoceros or tapirs. It was especially remarkable for 
the possession of a large pair of front teeth, resembling, both 
in form and construction, the incisors of the beaver. The 
name proposed for it was Trogr^irus castoroideusj or the bea- 
ver-toothed gnawing-hog. Another of the fossils indicates a 
carnivorous animal, a contemporary of the former, and about 
the size of the gray fox. The animal was related to the wea- 
sel and canine families, and was called Sinopa rapaz^ the 
former name being that applied by the Blackfeet Indians to 
a small fox. 

Professor Leidy also exhibited photographs of the lower 
part of the jaw of the American mastodon, recently received 
from Professor W. C.Kerr, state geologist of North Carolina. 
The jaw was found in Lenoir County of. that state. It be- 
longed to a mature male, and was of special interest from its 
retaining both tusks, as well as the molar teeth. — 2 2>, May 


At a late meeting of the American Philosophical Society 
Professor Cope made a communication upon the extinct ba- 
trachian fauna of the carboniferous formation of Linton, Ohio, 
bftsed upon material obtained by Professor J. S. Newberry, di- 


rector of the Geological Survey of Ohio, and professor in the 
School Mines of Columbia College. Up to the present time 
twenty-seven spiBcies have been discovei'ed, most of them pre- 
viously described by Professor Cope, although some of them 
are new species, announced now for the first time. 

It would appear from Professor Cope's statement that no 
true reptiles have yet been obtained in the coal measures, all 
of them 'belonging unmistakably to the Batrachia, although 
species were met with closely resembling serpents, lizards, 
and crocodiles. — JVoc. Am, PhilSoc. 


Dr. Hoy, in a paper before the Wisconsin Academy of Sci- 
ences, Arts, and Letters, remarks, in reference to the mammals 
of Wisconisin, that the elk existed in that state as late as 1863, 
bat is now. probably extinct. The moose is still found in con- 
siderable numbecs. The last buffalo was killed in 1832. An- 
telope were also found in Wisconsin in the time of Father 
Hennepin, although now, of course, driven far to the west. 
Most of the wild animals are diminishing very rapidly in 
number, the panther and deer being almost exterminated. 
The otter and beaver, however, are very persistent. The last 
wild turkey was killed in 1846 near Racine. — Bull. Wise. Nat. 


It is understood that Mr. Darwin is now preparing a new 
edition of his " Origin of Species," in which he will answer 
the objections of weight which have been urged against the 
theory of natural selection. 


The San Francisco papera are calling attention to specimens 
of fossil ivory brought from Alaska, and parties are said to 
be about entering upon the business of collecting it oii a large 
scale. This ivory consists of the tusks of the manimoth or 
fossil elephant {Elephaa primigenius)^ the remains of which 
are extremely abundant in Alaska, but much more so in Si- 
beria, from which latter country, as is well known, an appre- 
ciable percentage of all the ivory now used in the arts is ob- 



The existence of two species of elephants has long been es- 
tablished — the African and the Indian, the former differing 
from the latter in having mndh larger ears, which cover the 
greater part of the shoulders, as well as the whole neck, and 
often touch each other upon the nape. This difference is so 
striking as to be appreciable at once, although there are still 
other characteristics, such as* the more arched and less flat* 
tened forehead of the African, the more stoutly developed 
tusks which are often found in the female, while, as is well 
known, the female Indian elephant is entirely destitute of 
tbese weapons. More recently, the fact that the island of 
Sumatra is the only one in the Indian Archipelago where the 
elephant occurs in a wild state suggested the inquiry wheth^ 
er this might not be a distinct species, and the investigations 
of Dr. Schlegel,the eminent director of the Ley den Museum, 
have led him to this conclusion. Like the elephant of the 
main land of India, the ears of this animal are very small, and 
the form of the skull is somewhat the same ; but the number 
of dorsal vertebrsB, as well as of pairs of ribs, differs decided- 
ly, there being twenty-one in the African elephant, twenty in 
the Snmatran, and nineteen in the Indian. The Sumatran ele- 
phant seems to be more slender and delicate in its form^ and 
to have a longer and thinner snout. It is also said to mani- 
fest decidedly greater intelligence than the elephant o& Ben- 
gal. — Zoohgische G^or^en, II., 1870, 333. 


An interesting article appeared lately in the Chicago Times 
in regard to the game-trade of that city. This contained an 
elaborate account of the different kinds of game, bo1;h flesh 
and fowl, brought into Chicago, with the names of the dealers, 
and the statement of the receipts and sales. According to 
this article, there have been two new features of the market 
of that city in the past season. First, the shipment of a great 
many grouse and quail direct to England, where they arrive 
in about eighteen or twenty days, and where they brought 
good prices ; second, the canning of prairie chickens, which 
has been done to the extent of three hundred dozen on one 
single Baltimore order. The cans are made large enough to 


hold a single bird and the gravy, and the experiment was so 
successful that it is thought probable it will be continued on 
a large scale in the coming season. The names of about sev- 
enty firms are mentioned as the larger dealers in game, while 
those of the smaller ones are not enumerated. The following 
recapitulation of the principal varieties of game, and the ag- 
gregate number, weight, and average cost, and the sum total 
of the proceeds-, will be scanned with interest by our readers : 





Buffalo, lbs 

Antelope, lbs... 
Venison, lbs.... 

Bear, lbs 

Grouse, doz. ... 

Quail, doz 

Ducks, doz 



Partridges, doz. 

Snipe, dOz 

Woodcock, doz. 
Pigeons, doz... 


Babbits, doz.... 
Sqaiixels, doz. . 


















3 50 



$ 11,200 

















— Chicago Times, 


However rare whales are becoming in the seas north of 
America and Eastern Asia, they are said to be extremely 
abundant at the present time to the east of the Korth Cape 
of Europe, ten or more having been found stranded on the 
shores in a single season. All the beaches in that region are 
said to be strewn with bones or partially decomposed car- 
casses, which can be scented at a great distance. The spe- 
cies of whale is not well ascertained, but it is said to attain 
sometimes the length of 1 10 feet. — 1 7 (7, 1 871, 36. 


The impression is generally prevalent in the United States 
that the common domestic pig is an especial enemy of all 
kinds of serpents, and that it is capable of receiving the bite 
of the rattlesnake and copperhead without the slightest per- 


sonal inconvenience or injury. This same immunity froni 
harm would seem to exist in other countries, as a late writer 
in the London Field remarks upon the fondness of the pigs in 
India for the cobra de capello, and states that he has repeat- 
edly seen them in conflict, and has observed the pig to be bit- 
ten over and over ^gain in the snout and about the face by 
the writhing reptile, and in no instance with the slightest ill 
result to the aggressor. — 19 A^^ovember 4,1^71,391. 


The October number of The Ibis, a quarterly journal of or- 
nithology published in London, contains a summary of the 
progress of ornithological science for 1870, enumerating the 
names of writers upon this subject, with the titles of their 
publications. The total number of such authors mentioned 
in the list is 164, while the number of separate works and of 
papers (in scientific memoirs, transactions, proceedings, etc.) 
reiaches 316. Strange to say, only 22 new genera have been 
adopted, although 288 have been proposed. Figures of 270 
species, together with numerous plates ilhistrating the anat- 
omy, the nests, and the eggs, have appeared. Due prominence 
and full credit are given to the comparatively small number 
of American writers whose names appear in the list. — IbiSj 
October^lSll. - 


A great demand for the English sparrow in various parts 
of the United States has induced their importation from En- 
gland and Germany in large numbers, but in many instances, 
where this has been done in large cages, most of the birds 
have died on the passage. In one instance in our recollec- 
tion, where four hundred were placed in two cages, only sev- 
en were safely landed in New York. Persons who have given 
this subject their attention advise that the importations be 
made in long low cages, known as store cages, which are two 
or three feet long, about nine inches high, and twelve from 
back to front, with perches within two inches of the bottom. 
In a cage of this kind three or four dozen can, it is said, be 
readily transported, provided they be supplied with proper 
food, as well as with sand, and fine gravel, and plelity of wa- 
ter, — 2AjJiine 3,1871,393. 



In a . recent article upon the bird-trade of Germany with 
the rest of the world, we arie informed that the single firm of 
Me68i*s.Reiche, of Alfeld, are in the habit of shipping immense 
numbers of living birds to the United States, consisting main- 
ly of canaries, but including also goldfinches, sparrows of ev- 
ery species, including the house-sparrow, larks, etc. Their 
shipments to this country during the year 1869 amounted to 
26,000 canaries and 15,000 birds of other species — the total 
number of canaries exported by all the dealers to North 
America amounting probably to not less than 45,000 annual- 
ly. The shipments generally begin in the month of August, 
with the first spring broody arid are continued uninterrupted- 
ly until April. These, in nearly all instances, have been care- 
fully trained before shipment, and it is now possible for a few 
dollars to obtain birds that not many years ago would have 
cost more than ten times that amount. — 1 C, 1870, xxx., 473. 


A gentleman who has spent a good deal of time in Florida 
is decidedly of the opinion that the wild turkey of that state 
is quite different from that of the North, and that it main- 
tains a much closer relationship to the New Mexican turkey 
(MeUdgris Mexicana). According to his statement, the head 
of the wild turkey of Florida is red, like that of the domestic, 
its color in the Northern species of wild turkey being blue. 
The flesh also is white, as in the domestic turkey, and the tip 
of the tail fulvous instead of chestnut. The hunters from 
Mississippi who visit lower Florida notice this difference in 
the color of the heads of the Florida and Mississippi turkey, 
and consider them distinct. The gentleman in question is not 
familiar with the wild turkey of Northern Florida, and con- 
fines bis remarks to those on the southern portion of the Gulf 
coast of that state. 



Mr. Potts, a well-known ornithologist of New Zealand, calls 
attention, in a late number of Nature, to a curious change that 
has taken place in the habits of the kea parrot, belonging to 



the Australian genus Nestor, When the island was first dis- 
covered, this bird was known to make use of its bnish-like 
tongue in gathering honey from the various fiowers, and in 
feeding upon the berries of the plants belonging to its neigh- 
borhood, this diet being varied by the capture of an occasion- 
al insect. It now appears that the first change consisted in 
ita resorting to the scaffolds used by the settlers for drying 
meat, and then to the sheep-skins suspended in the air. Now 
it has become the veritable pest of the country, from its.habit 
of lighting upon the backs of sheep and picking away the 
wool, and then tearing out the flesh, thus causing a peculiar 
sore, which was originally supposed to be a new kind of dis- 
ease, and not until quite recently was it ascertained that it 
was due to the attacks of the kea parrot. — 12 Jl, October' 19, 


According to a late paper- by Mr. Victor Fatio, published 
in the Bulletin of the Swiss Ornithological Society, the total 
number of the skins of the (probably now extinct) great auk 
in Europe and in the United States amounts to seventy-one, 
or possibly seventy-two. Of these, four are in the United 
States, namely, one in the Philadelphia Academy of Natural 
Sciences ; one at Yassar College, Poughkeepsie-; one at the 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington ; and one in the pos- 
session of Mr. Robert L. Stuart, intended for the New York 
Museum of Natural History. Seven skeletons are enumer^ 
atfed as existing in Europe, and two (one ?) in the Museum 
of Comparative Zoology of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Of 
eggs, the author enumerates sixty-three specimens in Europe, 
and two in the United States, of which one belongs to the 
Academy of Natural Sciences, and the other is in the Muse- 
um of the Smithsonian Institution, having been presented to 
it by the Philadelphia Academy. This enumeration of the 
remains of this bird is believed to be very nearly accurate ; 
and although a few more specimens may yet be detected in 
local museums, it is not likely that the total can be much in- 
creased. The limited number extant will sufficiently explain 
the high price which specimens of both skins and eggs bring 
when offered for sale, the sums obtained for the former vary- 
ing from $500 to $1500, and for the latter from $250 to $350. 


Detached bones of the skeleton of the great auk are not at 
all uncommon in American collections, the critical examina* 
tion of the shell-heaps of the New England coast and of the 
Bay^ of Fnndy having broyght to light quite a considerable 
number. The specimens collected are mainly in the museum 
of the Peabody Institute, Salem ; the Peabody Museum, Cam- 
bridge ; and of the Smithsonian Institution at Washington. 



Professor PhilHps, of the Museum at Oxford, is very de- 
sirous of learning the relationship between the length and 
weight of crocodiles and alligators of all sizes, and requests 
the friends of science to make as many experiments on this 
subject as possible, and to transmit the result to the Univer- 
sity Museum at Oxford. Mr. Buckland recommends that, if 
the living animal be experimented upon, it be first placed in 
a bag. We commend the inquiry to such of our readers as 
may visit Florida this winter, in hopes that the many oppor- 
tunities of answering the question there will be utilized. In- 
formation sent to the American Naturalist Magazine at Sa- 
lem, Massachusetts, or to the American Journal of Science at 
New Haven, Connecticut, will no doubt be at once published, 
and thus mad^ accessible to Professor Phillips. — 2 A^Novem- 
^erl2, 1870,350. 


As was foretold by sagacious prophets, the cod-fisheries in 
Alaska continue to increase in economical importance to the 
country, the catch during the present year having amounted 
to over 1,300,000, all the fish of large size. Should the cod- 
fisheries of the Banks of Newfoundland fail in the course of 
time, as is feared by some, it is quite probable that we shall 
be obliged to depend upon the Alaska seas for our supplies. 
As the shoals frequented by cod in these seas vastly exceed 
in area all those of Newfoundland, and the fish themselves 
are of equal size and excellence, and in much greater relative 
abundance, we can look forward with equanimity to the trans- 
fer of that branch of the fishing interest from one side of the 
, continent to the other, satisfied, as we may well be, that a 
plentiful supply will always be available for consumption. 



Attention is called in the New York Herald of September 
2 to the occurrence in the vicinity of New York of the pom- 
pano, or crevall6 {Trachyhotua carolinua)^ a favorite delicacy 
among the fish of the South Atlantic and Gulf coast of the 
United States, and its presence is connected with a supposed 
increase of temperature in the waters of our shores, conse- 
quent upon the driving inward of the Gulf Stream by the pre- 
vailing southerly winds of this season. The range of this fish 
for the present summer extends far to the east of New York, 
quite considei'able numbers having been taken in Vineyard 
Sound and Buzzard's Bay. Although previously unknown 
of so large a size, it was not entirely a stranger to these wa- 
ters, since it may be found in every season of moderate di- 
mensions ; and as long ago as 1 855, Professor Baird, of the 
Smithsonian Institution, in a report upon the fishes of New 
Jersey, states that he had seen them taken by thousands in 
the sandy coves of the outer beach near Beesley's Point. 
These, however, were all rather small, scarcely exceeding a 
quarter to half a pound in weight. 

The Spanish mackerel, another fish to which the Herald 
article refers, has also been known much longer than is gen- 
erally supposed. Dr. Mitchill, in his work on the " Fishes of 
New York," published in 1&1.7, gives it as of occasional oc- 
currence; and it may be, after all, a question whether the 
greater frequency with which it is now seen does not depend 
on the improved methods of capture rather than upon any 
great degree of difference in abundance. During the present 
season it is less abundant on the New England coast, from 
Newport to Vineyard Sound and Buzzard's Bay, than last 
yeai', although, to judge from the market price, it is taken 
much more largely nearer New York. We are informed that 
the price has ranged as low as ten cents a pound, while at 
Newport it has retailed at a dollar and even more. It is 
worth in the New Bedford market at the present time about 
thirty-five cents. 


It will interest our American sportsmen, who are in the 
habit of visiting the British provinces for the purpose of 




catching salmon, to learn that the last report of the Commis- 
sioner of Fish and Fisheries for New Brunswick and Nova 
Scotia announces a very decided increase in the number of 
salmon, in consequence of the protective measures that have 
been established by the Dominion government. He recom- 
mends, what will also be agreeable news to our fishermen, 
that the salmon rivers be freely leased to gentlemen, under 
proper regulations, as the best method of preventing illegal 
poaching, and the improper destruction of breeding and im- 
mature fish. Among the chief measures to which the increase 
in question is due is ascribed the introduction of ladders into 
the dams on the streams, both salmon and alewives, by their 
means, passing up waters from which they had for a long time 
been absent. — Jieport of Canada Department of Marine and 
J?&A^^, 1869,1870. 


Mr. Hansen, in discussing the movements of the fins of fish- 
es in water, remarks that the propelling power of the pecto- 
ral fin is directed upward and forward, and is intended to as- 
sist the passage of the water into and out of the gills, and 
thus aid in respiration. When only one pectoral fin is moved, 
the body rotates around its longitudinal axis ; a more decided 
movement of both fins will raise the anterior extremity of 
the body in the water. When flying-fish ascend quickly to 
the surface by means of the active movement of the pectoral 
fins, they describe an arc over the water, but ultimately fall 
back into it. For this reason they are scarcely to be included 
among flying animals. — 1 (7, 18'70,xlv., 720. 


Dr. Albert Gflnther, of the British Museum, has presented 
an elaborate communication in Nature upon the relationships 
of the remarkable animal discovered not long since in Queens- 
land, known as the Ceratodus forsteri (or Dawson salmon), 
which is, in general characters, an amphibian-like fish, allied 
to Lepidosiren^ etc. Considering Ceratodus as a form of ga- 
noid fishes, Dr. Gtlnther has been induced, as the result of his 
investigations, to unite the Plagioatomata (sharks and rays) 
with the ganoids, since they agree in having a third con- 
tractile chamber in addition to the ordinary two divisions of 


the fish heart. This Indbus arteriosus id veiy different from 
the bulbus dortcB of other fishes, where it is simply a swelling 
of the walls of the aorta, not contractile, without valves in 
the interior, and s^arated from the heart by two yalyes op- 
posite to each other. This character is also supported by 
two others of great importance, viz., the presence of a spiral 
valve in the intestine, which is found in a more or less de* 
veloped state in all the ganoids, but entirely absent in other 
fishes ; and by the optic nerves being placed side by side, and 
not decussating as in ordinary fishes. The occurrence of the 
chimsBras as an intermediate rank between the plagiostomes 
and ganoids is considered as strengthening the view thus ta- 
ken, and accordingly Dr. Gtlnther proposes the name PaloB' 
ichthyes for this sub-class ; the remaining orders of fishes be- 
ing distinguished, as already indicated, by possessing a two- 
chambered heart with a rigid bulbus aortse, and decussating 
optic nerves, and in never exhibiting a trace of spiral valve 
in the intestine. 

Of the new sub-class indicated by Dr. Gtlnther there are 
now known 140 species of sharks, beloQging to 34 genera, and 
150 speciea of rays, of 25 genera, and inhabiting all the seas 
of the globe, but decreasing in numbers from the tropics to- 
ward the poles, very few of them entering, or at least living 
in fresh water. These constitute the order Plagiostomatcu 
In the order JSaloc^haia there are but.four species, viz., three 
Chimcsras and one GaUocephcUus^ these being restricted to 
the seas of the temperate zones of both hemispheres, and ab- 
sent between the tropics. 

The order of Qanoidei is composed of fresh-water species; 
one of Amia from North America ; three of Lepidosteus ; 
two of Polf/ptertis from Africa; two of Pclyodon^ or shovel- 
nosed sturgeon, one of them found in the Mississippi and the 
other in China; about twenty-five sturgeons from the north- 
em hemisphere ; two species of CercUodtts from tropical Aus- 
tralia; one of X/epidosirm from the Amazon Biver; and one 
oi Protopterus from tropical Africa. 

As the total number of fishes known at present is about 
&000, the sub-class of PcUmichthyes forms only 3.6 per cent, 
of the number. Dr. Gtlnther is, however, of the opinion, 
from the extent of the regions hitherto unexplored in respect 
to their fishes, that perhaps we are scarcely iKM^uainted with 



more than one tenth of the kinds of fishes actually existing. 
— 12 Ay September 2Sy 1871, 434. 



In reply to the question, Why does the salmon follow: the 
artificial fly, and what does it take it to be? Dr. Gftnther, 
the well-known ichthyologist, says that if we catch a prawn 
(one of the piincipal articles of food of salmon) in the sea, 
swimming in jerks, we at once observe that by mean& of the 
rod we impart to the fly the peculiar motion of the prawn, 
while the iridescent of the real creature is reproduced by 
the colors of the fly, which must vary according to the phys* 
ical ehanges of the sky and water. No two things can be 
more unlike than a prawn and a dry, artificial fly ; yet, acx 
eording to Mr. Gtlnther, no two things are more alike than a 
swimming prawn and that same fly in the water, worked by 
a skillful hand. 


A gome what interesting capture ts^as made during the past 
summer in one of the fish-pouiids in Buzzard's Bay, near 
Wood's Hole, Massachusetts, the strange visitor being a spec- 
imen of the tunny, Orcynus secundidorsalis, sometimes call- 
ed horse mackerel and albioore in this country. The speci- 
men measured nine feet in length, and weighed five hundred 
pounds, although frequently found weighing five hundred, or 
even a thousand pound« more than this. 

The horse mackerel is not an unusual visitor to the eastern 
coast of the New Eqgland States, and is found as far north at 
least as the Bay of Fundy, where, and especially about Prov- 
incetown, it is sometimes harpooned in considerable numbers. 
It very rarely comes within the bays on our coast, the indi- 
vidual in question being the only one that has been captured 
within the memory of the fishermen in Buzzard's Bay. The 
specimen has been skinned, and will, it is understood, be ex- 
hibited in due time as one of the treasures of the National 
Museum at Washington. 

The flesh of the horse mackerel is of excellent quality, be- 
ing more like butcher's meat than like fish, and closely re- 
sembling tender pork in color and texture. It is^ however, 
much less valued as food in the United States than in En- 


rope, where this species, or a close ally, has long been a favor- 
ite in the market. . 


The authority of Hendrik Hudson's journal is cited to prove 
the former existence of salmon in the Hudson Kiyer, and as 
an argument in favor of the feasibility of stocking its waters 
with this fish. Mr. J. Carson Brevoort, of Brooklyn, a gentle- 
man of great research in such matters,. inaintain's, however, 
the fish referred to by.Hudson is really the weak-fish, or sque- 
teague {Otolithtes regalis),SL9 it was takem in large numbers 
by this early voyager in the middle of September, in seines, 
somewhere in the lower part of the bay, and at a time when 
and place where no true. salmon could be thus captured. An 
inexperienced observer might very easily. call. a weak-fish a 
salmon, the general resemblance being so close that the name 
of salmon-trout is, even now, generally applied to the South- 
ern variety of the weak-fish. The pike-perch, or wall-eyed 
perch {I/udoperca americana)^ is also called salmon in the 
Susquehanna Hiver, with*much less resemblance to the genu- 
ine article than the weak^fisL 


It is well known to naturalists that the black bass, now so 
common in the Potomac River, and furnishing so much fiport 
to the angler, as well as constituting so valuable an article 
of food, is not indigenous, but has be^n transferred from oth- 
er waters. The species of this genus (Orystes) belong to the 
waters of the Mississippi Valley and of the great lakes, but 
on the Atlantic coast were originally restricted to the. region 
south of the James River — the Potomac, Susquehanna, Dela- 
ware, Hudson, and other great streams of the Middle and 
Northern States being without them. They have been trans- 
ferred to many localities, both streams and. poods, and it is 
likely that before a great while they will be well known 
throughout this country, as it is even proposed to carry them 
to California. Controversy has lately arisen as to the person 
to whom is due the credit of the first introduction of this fish 
into the Potomac, the honor being assigned by some to Dr. 
Pofi^, of Wheeling, and by others to Mr. William Schriver. 
The question, however, can be readily determined by refer- 


ence to the report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1864, 
where may be fonnd a comniunication from Mr. Eoff himself 
on this subject, giving an account of the habits' of the black 
bass, and stating that Mr. William Schriver, of Wheeling, 
thinking the Potomac River admirably adapted to the culti- 
vation of the bass, had, the preceding season, carried some 
twenty or more alive in a box, in the water-tank of a loco- 
motive from Wheeling to Cumberland, his former residence, 
and placed them in a canal basin at that place, where he 
hoped they would do well, and be a nucleus from which the 
stock might soon spread. This, of course, effectually settles 
the controversy in favdr of Mr. Schriver. 


In a communication by M. Bert to the Academy of Sciences 
of Paris upon the death of fishes living in fresh water when 
immersed in sea water, he stated that these fishes ard literal- 
ly suffocated by a singular effect of desiccation, the exosmose 
being very active, especially when their skin is clothed with 
large scales. The phenomenon as observed in frogs is quite 
extraordhiary, these losing the greater part of their weight, 
and becoming almost as much dried up as if they had been 
salted alive. In* regard to the action of fresh water upon 
salt-water fish, heifound that they are too heavy for this me- 
dium, and generally remain at the bottom of the water, while 
the fresh-watej fish always swim at the top of salt water. — 
12 Ay August 24^18^1,339. 


. Of the many fresh-water fish characteristic of the continent 
of North America, comparatively few, with the exception of 
members of the salmon and trbiit family, are of sufficient eco- 
nomical value to make it expedient to introduce them into re- 
gions whei*e they ^o not naturally occur. This transfer has 
.been made to a very disastrous extent in the case of the pike 
(jESkwj), which, although multiplying rapidly, is at the same 
time the determined foe of all other kinds offish, and soon 
almost exterminates them from the waters which it inhabits. 
For this reason some states have passed laws prohibiting, un- 
der severe penalties, except by direct peraaission Of the Cdm- 
uiissioners of the Fisheries, any transfer of the species in ques- 




tion to new localities. There is, however, one fish that is of 
great value, and which can be introduced without as much 
doubt of the'propriety of the act as exists in regard to the 
pike. We refer to the black bass {Ghryates of authors). This 
inhabits, in one variety or another, the basin of the great 
lakes, of the Mississippi Valley, and the upper waters of the 
streams of the South Atlantic coast as far north as the James 
River. Within a few years it has been transferred with suc- 
cess to streams previously uninhabited by it — to the Potomac, 
for one, where it is now extremely abundant. During the 
past summer some public-spirited gentlemen of Philadelphia 
collected among themselves a fund to stock the Delawai*e 
with this noble fish, and obtained about seven hundred, prin- 
cipally in the vicinity of Harper's Eerry. These were carried 
alive in large tanks to the Delaware, and deposited in that 
stream at Easton, about two hundred of the number dying 
by the teay. The same party of gentlemen propose to use a 
surplus fund in their hands in experimenting upon the re- 
stocking of the river with shad and salmon. 


Visitors to the Dublin Zoological Gardens have been much 
interested in some living specimens of the eyeless fish found 
in the Mammoth Cave, recently carried ther^, and now in 
perfect health. The small specimens are so transparent that 
the vertebral column, the heart, and optio buQ)s may be dis^ 
tinotly seen. In the largest there are dark red spots over 
the optic bulbs, which, it is suggested, are due to their having 
been kept in an iron tank, which may have given color to a ru- 
dimentary pigment of the membrane. — 12 -4, Oct. 6, 18^0, 464. 


The Commissioners of Fisheries for the State of New York 
have lately announced, in the public papers, their readiness to 
furnish, free of expense, living black bass, catfish, white bass, 
rock bass, roach, perch, sunfish, and pike-perch, for stocking 
the waters in any part of the State of New York, provided 
parties desiring them will send an agent to receive and take 
charge of them. All of these are now bred at the state es- 
tablishment at Caledonia, and applications for them ai^ to be 
made to Seth Green, Rochester. 




The use of torpedoes for killing fish for manure has lately 
been introduced on. the coast of Flonda. The businesses 
carried on about six miles below New Smyrna, at Mosquito 
Lagoon, and the method adopted is said to consist in ex- 
ploding the torpedoes in the water, under the schools, as they 
pass by. In addition to the many that are killed outright, 
and float on the surface, large numbers are wounded, and go 
off elsewhere to die, without being caught. This practice, 
we are assured, has already resulted in a very marked dim- 
inution of the schools of fish in that vicinity, and has be'en 
greatly resented by the people of the state, who are endeav- 
oring to drive the operator from its waters. — Letter, 



In a recent article. Professor Willkomm, of Tharaudt, in 
Germany, discusses the subject of the cryptogamic growth 
which so frequently interferes with the business of artificial 
fish-breeding, by attaching itself to the eggs or to the young 
fish, and destroying them ; and after considering in detail 
the various suggestions made by writers in regard to this 
parasite, endeavors to show that it is simply the alternate 
condition of the ordinary mould (Mucor miccedo) which de- 
velops itself, under favorable circumstances, in the air. This 
was proved by transplanting filaments of mould to fish or 
eggs, and finding them develop into the species in question; 
and vice^ersa, by taking the filaments from the fish, and plant- 
ing them in the air, they produce genuine mould. The gen- 
eric name adopted by our author for the plant in question is 
Saprolegniaj as established by IN'ees von Esenbech, who called 
it j8L moikiscorum. 

Dr. Willkomm is even of opinion that the fungus which 
forms on dead flies and other insects in such large quanti- 
ties, and known as AchlyapvoUfera^ as well as the Mnpuaa 
mu8C€B^ which develops on living insects in the air, is merely 
a different form of the same polymorphous growth, and which, 
when taking root on perfectly sound, healthy animals, may 
impart disease to them, and even produce death. It is also 
suggested that the Ibrichium of Dr. Cohn, which produces a 
new caterpillar disease, is a still different phase of the same 



growth. He refers the origin of the fungus growth upon fish 
and their eggs to the sporules which are continually floating 
in the air, and which only require a favorable nesting-place 
for their development; and- he makes an important practical 
suggestion in the interest of fish culture, especially that of 
trout and salmon. He advises very earnestly that the water 
used for hatching eggs and raising young fish be derived, as 
far as possible, from springs, and at or near their source, and 
even urges the transportation of such water for a long dis- 
tance in closed pipes, for the purpose of securing that which 
will be measurably free from the danger mentioned. In this 
way he thinks there is much less danger of having the fungus 
spores fall into the water, and producing disease. He him- 
self found, after adopting this plan at the fish-breeding es- 
tablishment in Tharandt, that for the first time the operations 
were not interfered with by the death of a largo percentage 
of eggs and new-hatched fish from this disease, while for. the 
twelve previous years a large number were annually lost. 
A loss of not over fifteen per cent, of the eggs is considered 
quite favorable, since sometimes fifty per cent, or more die, 
in spite of the utmost precaution. 


Some researches by Dr. Sanderson upon the intimate pa- 
thology of contagion have led him to very careful investiga- 
tions into the conditions under which microzymes (bacteria) 
and fungi become developed in various solutions. The re- 
sults at which he arrives are of great importance. Micro- 
zymes are not capable of being transmitted from one solution 
to another by means of air. On the other hand, fungi, as is 
well known, are capable of being so transmitted. If proper 
precautions in its preparation be taken, a solution (Pasteur's, 
e..g.) may be exposed to the iair for months in an open vessel 
without the development in it of a single bacterium, while 
fungi {i, e.f Mj/cdium torula) will be developed in it in pro- 
portion to its amount of exposure to the air. In order to in- 
sure this result, all that is necessary is to boil the solution, 
and thoroughly rinse with boiling water the vessel that is to 
contain it. 

The addition of a drop of ordinary distilled water is snffi* 
cient to cause rapid development of bacteria in abundance in 


such a solution. If the distilled water be previously boiled, 
no such development ensues. These results show clearly that 
there is no developmental connection between miicrozymes 
and torula cells, and that their apparent association is one of 
mere juxtaposition. 

There is also in this paper an account of a series of experi- 
ments with sealed tubes containing organic and other solu- 
tions, which were, as in Dr. Bastian's well-known experiments, 
submitted to a high temperature, special experiments being 
also made with tubes in which more or less perfect vacuum 
was produced; Dr. Bastian, as it will be remembered, believ- 
ing he had found that low organisms developed themselves 
more rapidly in fluids existing in an atmosphere of low ten- 
sion. Dr. Sanderson's conclusions are entirely at variance 
with those of Dr. Bastian. In no case where proper precau- 
tions were taken to exclude and destroy germs did any devel- 
opment of life whatever take place. — 13 -4, November 1, 1870, 


According to a late communication by Ehrenberg to the 
Academy of Sciences of Berlin, he has succeeded in determin- 
ing the existence of five hundred and forty-eight species of 
organic forms, absolutely invisible to the naked eye, and held 
in suspension in the atmosphere. — 15 A^ October 21,1871, 531. 


Dr. Packard has lately announced the discovery, by Pro- 
fessor Verrill, of a dipterous larva of the genus CkironomuSy 
at a depth of one hundred and twenty feet, in the vicinity 
of Eastport, Maine. He also describes a mite, or Acarus^ as 
occurring at a similar depth. He has not yet ascertained 
whether, like other species of the genus, the latter lives, in any 
of its stages, in the gills of the lamellibranchiate mollusca. 


A recent communication to the State Department from the 
United States Consul at St. Helena states the fact that the 
white ants, which have effected a lodgment in the island, are 
rapidly destroying every thing upon it. No wood but teak, 
and sometimes not even that, escapes their fangs, and num- 


bers of houses in Jamestown have been fairly gutted by them 
•^-doors, window-sashes, floors, and roofs all being eaten 'lip^ 
leaving nothing but the bare walls. — JjeUer, 


According to Dr. Uhler, of Baltimore, the European cab- 
bage buttei^y (Pontia brasaico^^ the pest of the agriculturist, 
has reached Baltimore in its invasion of the United States. 
It has been known for some years more to the eastward, and 
has been slowly but surely creeping along, until it bids fair 
to involve the whole countiy in its ravages. — Letter from 
Dr. Uhler. 


Professors Mobius and Hensen have been lately engaged 
in a careful investigation of the condition of the oyster beds 
of Schleswig, and have ascertained that a full-grown oyster 
can produce a million of young in a single season. They also 
ascertained that the Schleswig oysters at least have no de- 
cided manifestation of sex during the winter, but that, prior 
to the breeding season, in some the cells of the generative 
glands develop spermatozoa, while others develop only eggs, 
the numbers in the two divisions being about equal. This 
sexual development is later in the deeper beds than in the 
more superficial ones, probably because the stimulus of in- 
creasing heat acts earlier at shallow depths than at greater 
ones. They also found reason to believe that the egg-bear- 
ing generative glands, afker discharging their eggs, appear 
to have spermatozoa to form in them. — 19 C, October 21, 1871, 
XLii., 344. 


According to Mr.Buckland, among other enemies of young 
oystera in the English breeding parks or ponds are certain 
small fish, such as the gobies, sticklebacks, etc., which devour 
the spat with intense relish. He finds in these minute ene- 
mies the reason why such poor success has attended many of 
the experiments in oyster breeding, and advises that some 
fish be introduced especially addicted to destroying the 
young fish fry in question. A comparatively small number 
of young bluefish would probably very soon exterminate 



these depredators, destroying them at the rate of several 
hundreds each per day. — 2 -4, September 9, 1871, 162. 


One of the most original and important contiibntions to 
the zoology of the day is that constituting the third number 
of the Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at 
Cambridge, ti*eatiDg upon the mammals and winter birds of 
East Florida. The author, Mr. J. A« Allen, an assistant of 
Professor Agassiz, is well known for the thoroughness of his 
research into the vertebrata of America, and the critical at- 
tention paid by him to the proper limitation of species, both 
in their relationships to each other, and in their geographical 
distribution. In the present work he gives a summary of the 
views to which he has been led within a few years past by 
his studies of the immense collection in the Cambridge Muse- 
um, and makes numerous important generalizations. Among 
these he corroborates the conclusion previously announced by 
others of the diminution in size of the American birds in pro- 
portion as their birthplace is more southern, and also that 
there is a similar difference existing between the animals of 
the higher and lower altitudes. He also finds that with the 
more southern locality of summer abode there are correspond- 
ing differences in color and proportion, as well as in habits, 
notes, and song, the vivacity' of the bird decreasing as its size 
increases. The principal difference in color with the more 
southern localities consist in the darker tints and the reduced 
extent of any white markings, with other features that our 
space will not permit us to give at the present time. The 
entire work is one eminently worthy of careful study, and is 
destined to exercise a very important influence upon the meth- 
ods of zoological research. — BidL M. C, Z., H, 3, 1871. 


When ocean cables were first submerged, various apprehen- 
sions of probable injury were entertained, some of which have 
proved to be well founded, and others less so. It was sup- 
posed that worms or mollusks would burrow in the substance 
of the envelope, and ultimately penetrate to the centre of the 
wires; or, iagain, that the attachment of barnacles, mollusks, 
or other marine animals on the exterior would invite the at- 


tacks of the sharks, rays, and other fish of powerful jaws, and 
induce them to subject the bunch of matter to such a masti- 
cation as should produce serious harm to the cable. To what 
extent any accidents have happened from this source it is 
perhaps difficult to say ; but we now learn that the Florida 
cable, between Punta Rosa and Key West, has been injured iu 
numerous places, as s&pppsed by sea turtles biting through or 
crushing it in th^ir teeth, to such an extent as to destroy its 
continuity. It is, perhaps, a question whether the turtle be 
chargeable with these operations ; and we think it is quite as 
probable that, under the circumstances, some ray or other 
fish has attacked it, and for the reasons already suggested. 


Attention has been called to injuries to the Florida subma- 
rine cable, supposed to have been caused either by the bites 
of the sea turtles or from some kinds offish; and we now 
learn that in.tlhina a similar difficulty has been experienced 
in consequence of the attacks of a minute crustacean. This 
is so small a.s scarcely to be appi*eciable to the naked eye, but 
can be readily defined under the microscope. Yarions breaks 
have been satisfactorily referred to the agency of these ani- 
mals, which had imbedded themselves in the gutta-percha. 
It has become necessary, therefore, to envelop the cables in 
certain localities with an external supplementary layer of 
metallic wire, in order to prevent injury in this manner.— 1 
jB, October 15,1811,21. 

Darwin's collections in natural history. 

According to the Athemeum, Mr. Darwin has presented to 
the University of Cambridge a i*emainder of the collections 
in invertebrate zoology made by him during the celebrated 
voyage of the beagle. These will form a desirable addition 
to the treasures which the museum of the university is rapid- 
ly accumulating nnder the superintendence of Professor Al- 
fred Newton. The museum has for some time been in the 
possession of the collections of Mr. William Swainson, em- 
bracing a large number of types of his descriptions of new 
species of birds. The extensive collection of birds and eggs 
of Western North America of the late James Hepburn, a gen- 



tleman well known to naturalists of the United States, has 
also lately come into the possession of the same establish- 
ment. — 15 Ay April 29, 1871, 530. 


Among other interesting communications to the late meet- 
ing of the British Association is one by Mr. Kent upon the 
zoological rcfsults of the dredging expedition of the yacht 
Noma, off the coast of Spain and Portugal, in 1870; great 
credit being given to her owner, Mr. Marshall Hall, for thus 
utilizing a summer's excui-sion in the interest of science. 
Many interesting collections were obtained, embracing new 
forms of the group of silicious sponges, to which Miplectella^ 
or " Venus's flower-basket," and Hyalonema^ or- the " glass 
rope sponge," belong. These were, obtained. at from 400 to 
800 fathoms, off Cezimbra, at the mouth of the Sado River, 
and included specimens of Syalonema scarcely to be distin- 
guished from the well-known Japan species. . A species of 
FustLS (F, contrariui) was found, identical with a common 
fossil of the Norwich Crag, and other invertebrates obtained 
more nearly related to Japanese and Chinese species than to 
any known Atlantic or Mediterranean forms. 

The material obtained during the cruise was readily sep- 
arable into two portions : the first, that collected from the 
shore-line down to a depth of 100 fathoms, which presented 
an interblending of Mediterranean species with those inhabit- 
ing a more temperate coast of Europe ; the second, enibrste- 
ing those taken at a depth of more than 400 fathoms, remark- 
able for their northern or colder water character and affinities. 

It is much to be desired that some of the owners of the 
many powerful steam and sailing yachts in the United States 
may be induced to follow the example of Mr. Halt) as the field 
of exploration outside of a few miles from shore, along the 
Atlantic coast, is almost entirely un worked, with the excep- 
tion of what has been done by the United States Coast Sur- 
vey-^and this, however rich in results, covering but a small 
portion of the ground. During the summer season a week 
or two might be spent off the coafet, at a distance varying 
from twenty to a few hundred miles, with perfect ease and 
safety; and by means of apparatus costing but little, and 
with the companionship of some man of science, always read- 



ily obtainable, it would be a more rational occupation than 
that of junketing in harbors, or sailing races for the mere 
purpose of ascertaining which of several boats is the swiftest. 
—13 A^ August 15, 1871, 401. 


Mr. R. M'Andrew, a well-known English conchologist, has 
been occupied for a considerable length of time in dredging 
in the Oulf of Suez, and has obtained no less than eight hun- 
dred and eighteen species of moUusca. Of these, three fourths 
have been determined. These specimens show a remarkable 
difference from the forms belonging to the Mediterranean, 
and the existence is inferred of a barrier between the two 
seas from a very remote epoch, although it is thought that 
the two were united in the eocene and miocene periods. 


The Gulf of Naples has long been a favorite field of explo- 
ration for marine zoologists on account of the great variety 
of animal life to be found in its watere, but much inconven- 
ience has usually been experienced by foreign naturalists for 
want of the facilities necessary for prosecuting their research- 
es. To obviate this. Dr. Anton D5hrn, of Stettin, an eminent 
conchologist, has lately obtained permission from the author- 
ities of the city of Naples to erect in the Villa Reale, close to 
the sea, at his own expense, a large building, to contain a 
^eat aquarium for the public, and extensive and convenient 
apartments for the use of naturalists of every country, the 
whole to remain his absolute property for thirty years, and 
as long after that as he may live. Dr. Dohrn proposes to es- 
tablish- himself in the building, with several other German 
naturalists,^and to conduct the administration of the entire 
establishment. : He will thei'e, at all times, be happy to wel- 
come his scientific confreres, and to see that every facility for 
research is offered them. Some income will doubtless be de- 
rived from fees for admission of the general public to the 
aquaria, and all deficiencies will be made up by Dr. Dohrn, 
who is understood to be that rara aviSy a naturalist of means. 

An annual report of receipts and expenditures, as well as 
of the discoveries made in the establishment, is to be made 
to an international committee, of whom are already named 


HelmholtZy Dubois - Reymond, Huxley, Darwin, Hseckel, 
Leackart^Yon Benedeu, etc. He has also invited Professor 
Agassiz to accept the representation in the committee for the 
United States, and thereby add the weight of his powerful 
name. Work on the building will begin forthwith under 
Dr. Dohrn's direction, his address at Naples being to the care 
of Friedrich Stolte, Consul General of Germany, Piazza Me- 

Jn the Northern United States the richest marine fauna is 
to he found in the vicinity of Eastport, Maine, the adjacent 
region of the Bay of Fundy having become classic ground 
through the labors of Stimpson,Verrill, Packard, Morse,Web- 
ster, Hyatt, etc. It is whispered that Mr. J. £. Gavit, of New 
Tork^ president of the American Bank-note Company, and at 
the same time an eminent microscopist, has it in contempla- 
tion, with some friends, to erect a building at Eastport, to be 
suitably endowed and maintained for the use of any natural- 
ists who may wish to avail themselves of the facilities it may 
afford. We can only hope that so excellent an idea may be 
realized at ani early day. 


Professor Mdbius, in his ^ Fauna of the Bay of Kiel," re- 
marks that the sea animals of that locality may be divided 
into those of the region of the sandy shore — the green sea- 
grass (eel-grass), the decayed, rotting sea-grass, the red algse, 
and the black mud ; and he considers that this is a fair type 
of the physical character of similar bodies of water. It is 
in this black mud, resulting from the decomposition of the 
grasses, that the greater number of animals harbor, and upon 
which they feed, furnishing, in turn, subsistence to the various 
forms of carnivorous animals. The quantity of organisms 
occupying such a muddy bottom is perfectly startling, since 
single casts of the dredge will bring up almost living masses 
of eases of worms, crustaceans, etc., and it* is upon these that 
large numbers of our coast fish feed almost exclusively. — 19 


In the course of an investigation during the season of 1870, 
the marine &una of the peninsula of Gasp6, ia the Gulf of St. 


Lawrence, Mr. Whiteaves, of Montreal, added largely to the 
knowledge of the moUusca of that region, as he collected 
one hundred and eighteen species of marine shells, or nearly 
doable the number previously supposed ta exist in that vicin- 
ity.^— Canadian Naturalist^ V., 217. 



According to a recent report by Dr. Stimpson upon the 
cinistaceaus dredged in the Gulf Stream by Count Pourtal^s, 
of the Coast Survey, 81 species, of 4.7 genera, were obtained, 
of which 52 of the species and 19 of the genera are to be con- 
sidered as new. Only a small proportion of the species were 
from great depths, 15 alone being recorded as coming from 
below 100 fathoms. The greatest depth at which any of the 
i^ecies were found was 150 fathoms, these belonging to the 
family of the Portunidm. The portion of Dr. Stimpson's re- 
port on the brachyurous crabs of this collection has just been 
published in the Bulletin of the Museum of Compamtive Zool- 
ogy at Cambridge, already so well known for the merit of 
its zoological memoirs, and the remainder will follow at no 
distant interval. — 7 D^ February ^l^1\^ 144. 

vbrrill's exploration ijt new jersey. 

Many of our readers are familiar with the names of Mr. 
Thomas Say, of Philadelphia, and Mr. C. A. Lesueur, as havi? 
ing been among the most prominent of our naturalists during 
the earlier piart of the present century, and as having added 
many new species to the lists. The labors of Mr. Say were di- 
rected largely toward the invertebrata, enibracing more par- 
ticularly the inseotis, shelis, and crustaceans. Many of his ex- 
plorations were in the vicinity of Beesley's Point, New Jer- 
sey, where species were obtained by.him that have ever since 
remained almost unknown to science. ' Several examinations 
have been more I'ecently made on the New Jersey coast for 
the express purpose of recovering these forms, and one of 
the most successful was prosecuted last spring under the di- 
rection of Professor Verrill, of Yale College,, who, with seve- 
ral companions, spent a week at Somers's Point and Beesley's 
Point. The results of their labors were much greater than 
they had anticipated, ias they not only obtained a large pro- 
portion of all the missing forms, but secured quite a number 


of new species, and detected the occurrence, for the firet time, 
of others previously known as belonging much farther south, 
among them two echinoderms, of which Cape Hatteras was 
the limit previously ascertained. Their " catch" for the week 
summed up 175 species of marine animals — about 26 of fish- 
es, 50 of crustaceans, 25 of worms, 50 of mollusks, and 15 of 
radiates and sponges. — Letter, 

BB. STIHPSON's explorations in FLORIDA. 

Reference was made some time ago, under the head of 
*' Explorations in Florida," to the presence in that state dur- 
ing the past winter of Dr. William Stimpson, the well-known 
naturalist, and Secretary of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, 
This enterprise deserves more than a passing notice in con- 
sequence of its magnitude, and the thorough nature of the 
examination made of the marine fauna of the Southern coast. 
The work was instituted in the interest of the Academy of 
Sciences of Chicago, and the funds supplied by the liberality 
of Mr. Blatchford, of that city, who accompanied the expedi- 
tion,'and did all in his power to make it a success. A fast- 
sailing schooner, with three boats and seven men, were en- 
gaged at Key West, and the work began about the middle 
of February. The entire length of the Florida reef, and the 
Keys from Cape Florida to the Tortugas, a distance of two 
hundred miles, was thoroughly examined, and dredging ivas 
prosecuted both in the reef channel and in the Gulf Stream 
outside. A large collection . of fishes was made, including 
some new Species, and over fifty species of shells wpre found 
not hitherto reported from the Florida coast, although known 
in the adjacent West Indian seas. Large numbers, however, 
of entirely new species, both of- mollusks and other inver- 
tebrates, were collected, which will be worked out and pub- 
lished at an early day. The total amount of collections made 
filled sixty-two barrels and boxes, weighing about three tons.* 
The alcoholic series would have been much larger but for 
the high price of alcohol a\ Key West. The collections thus 
made by Mr. Blatchford and Dr. Stimpson will add greatly 
to the already rich cabinet of the Chicago Academy of Sci- 
ences-^an institution which has assumed a high rank among 

* We regret to say that all these collections were destroyed in the great 
CM^gQ ^rei — Editor, 



sister establishments. The Academy is the fortunate possess* 
or of several nearly complete skeletons of the mastodon, and 
has' jast obtained one of an Indian elephant that died not 
long since in the yioinity of Chicago. 


We learn that the Smithsonian Institution has recently suc^ 
ceeded in obtaining two complete skeletons of the remarka- 
ble tapir of the high lands of the United States of Colombia, 
known to naturalists as Tapirua pinchaque or roulini. Pre- 
viously only the skull had been obtained by Roulin, by whom 
it was first made known, and it was one of the rarities of the 
great anatomical collection at Paris. The Smithsonian Insti- 
tution had before obtained a number of skulls, and a skeleton 
of the still more remarkable tapir of Panama, which had re- 
mained undistinguished from the common species of Panama 
till within a few years, when first described, under the name 
oiBlasmognathua bairdiiy by Pi*ofessor Gill, from two skulls 
in the Smithsonian collection. There are no external or dent- 
al differences between the tapirs corresponding with the 
marked differences in the skulls; the external differences be- 
ing confined to the contour of the forehead, the color, and the 
character of the hair. In the mountain tapir, as might be 
expected in an animal dwelling in such elevated regions, the 
hair is long and coarse, and is of a black color, strongly con- 
trasting with that of the common tapir of South America; it 
is also somewhat smaller than that species, and has the fore* 
head less. arched from the occiput. It is confined to the high* 
lands, and is separated, at least as far as is known, by quite 
a wide band of country from the common species. 


For three days during the last week in December, 18Y1, 
vast schools of small bluefish were noticed in Beaufort Har- 
bor, North Carolina, in company with fat-backs and yellow- 
tailed shad, apparently slowly worting toward the sea by thd 
route of the Inlet. They were coming from the southward 
through the Sound, and swam very slowly, at times nearly 
leaving the Sound and then returning. Efforts made t6 cap* 
ture some were unsuccessful. Their size, as estimated (leap- 
ing from the water), was four inches ; some much smaller. 





M. R. S. Elliott) industrial agent of the Kansas Pacific Rail- 
way, has been experimenting upon the cultivation, upon the 
plains, of various seeds without accompanying irrigation, the 
principal trials having been made at three stations along the 
railroad: the first, Wilson, being 239 miles west of the state 
line, and 1686 feet above the sea level; the second, Ellis, 302 
milea west, and of 3019 feet elevation; and the third, Pond 
Creek, 422 miles west, and 3176 feet in altitude. Trials were 
made, in these experiments, of winter grains, as wheat, bar- 
ley, and rye ; of spring grains, as wheat and oats ; of various 
grasses ; of tree seeds, such as ailanthus, chestnut, pinon, elm^ 
etc.; and of various fruit trees. The conclusions arrived at 
from these investigations were, that lucerne and other valu- 
able fomge plants, Winter and spring grains, and trees, may 
be grown on the plains from seed, without irrigation, as far 
west as the 100th meridian, and perhaps even further; also, 
that trees may be grown from seeds, cuttings, and young 
plants, for timber or for fruit, in all parts of the plains be- 
tween the Platte and the Arkansas Rivers; and, finally, that 
the growth of living storm-shields along the line of the Kan- 
sas Pacific Railway, and of timber for the uses of the road, is 
only a matter of effort and time. — Circular ofJEUiott. 


Much has beeu said in the work of Mr. George P. Marsh, 
entitled " Man and Nature," and by many other writers, of 
the influences exerted by man upon the physical condition 
of the earth and the atmosphere, and deserved stress has been 
laid upon the important part played by trees in all phenom- 
ena connected with the amelioration of climates and the res- 
toration or increase of rain-fall, and the diminution in the 
number and the intense severity of inundations, etc. Mr. 
Buchan, a well-known meteorologisf of Edinburgh, has made 
a report to the Scientific Society of that city in regard to cer- 
tain measures about being introduced by the Governor of 


Malta for replanting the island with Jrees, in which he re- 
marks that the characteristic features of the climate of that 
island are the cold northerly wind^ of the winter, and the ex- 
cessive heat of summer,with a great scarcity of water through- 
out the whole year. The entire absence of trees on the island 
was thought to intensify and increase these extremes, and it 
was believed that by securing an abundant covering of for- 
ests much could be done for the amelioration of the climate. 
Mr. Buchan, in reference to the general theory of such amelio- 
ration, states that while the highest temperature of the air 
occurs in summer between two and three o'clock P.M., the 
change in the trees is very slow, the leaves not attaining 
their maximum temperature until nine o'clock P.M. Thus, 
while the atmospheric changes are rapid, the temperature 
varies slowly in the trees, and therefore they serve, like the 
ocean, as equalizers of the temperature, moderating the heat 
of the day, and maintaining a higher temperature dnnng the 

In continuation of the same subject, Mr. Buchan remarks 
that, as air is heated by contact with the soil, and as trees 
shelter the soil from the solar radiation, they must diminish 
the force of the sun's rays, especially in the lower strata of 
the atmosphere. The exhalation of moisture by trees pro- 
duces cold in the air by abstracting the latent heat from it. 
This lowering of the temperature gives to the air a greater 
degree of humidity. Again, the leaves of trees exercise an 
important influence in cooling the atmosphere, as the tree 
itself, by its radiation of heat, becomes sensibly lower in tem- 
perature, and thus cools the air as it plays among the leaves. 
—18 A^ February 17, 514. 


The great frequency of fires during summer in the pine for- 
ests of Germany and France, under circumstances where there 
was no suspicion of accidental or willflil incendiarism, has sug- 
gested to Mr. Schrader the idea that these may possibly be in 
a measure spontaneous. In most of these forests the. resin is 
collected in large quantity from punctures 'made in the bark, 
and an exudation of the same substance may take place when- 
ever the bark is accidentally cracked. Mr. Schrader suggests 
that the tear-shaped drops of resin, in running from the tree, 


may form lenses, through which the ray^ of the sun may "Be 
concentrated, and act upon the inflammable surroundings, 
and thereby set lire to them. In many cases, possibly, a vapor 
of escaping turpentine may also, by its combustibility, cause 
the fire to spread with greater* rapidity. — 1 B^Aug, 14, 114. 


The disagreeable smell of the ailanthus-tree while in l>los- 
som need be no objection to the planting of it on a large scale 
as a timber tree, since, as is well known, it is dioecious, and the 
male tree alone possesses the unpleasant peculiarity. It is 
only necessary to propagate the female tree, therefore, in or- 
der to have an equally fine grove without the practical in* 
convenience referred to. It so happened that, on the first in- 
troduction of the tree into this country, the male tree aloae 
was propagated. The female, hoAvever, is coming more rap- 
idly into use, and may readily be known by the clusters of 
seeds it bears, similar to those of some species of the ash 

-There are few trees more valuable for timber than the ai- 
lanthus. The wood haff much of the same properties as the 
chestnut, and is equally durable, grows with as great rapids 
ity, and in its. native couutry obtains a height of between two 
and three hundred feet. It is said to be well adapted to 
growth on the Western prairies, and will undoubtedly per- 
form an important part in clothing them with forest vegeta- 


. According to Professor Hasskarl, the cultivation of cin- 
chona in Java continues to be a success, the weather having 
been favorable and the growth of the plant perfectly satis- 
factory. The number of plants obtained from seeds and lay- 
ers was about one and a half millions, principally of the spe- 
cies C, calisaya / eight hundred and seventy thousand were 
transplanted in addition, and over one thousand poutids of 
the dry bark were sent to Holland in 1869, bringing from 
thirtyrsix to fifty-four cents per^pound. The total product 
of 1870 is estimated. at eight thousand eight hundred pounds 
for exportation, besides some hundreds for home use in the 
island. — 1 2 A^ December 8, 1 870, 114. 



The British government has, it is well known, been very 
saccessfiil in cultivating the cinchona plant in its colonies, 
and it is now stated that a similar experiment has been made 
by the French in Algiers with equally satisfactory results. 
The plants were reared in a hot-house in France, and the 
soil kept uniformly and moderately damp, this appearing to 
be one ^f the conditions essential to success. As the heat of 
the sun became more powerful the development was more 
rapid, especially in those plants nearest the glass. About 
the end of June the plants were transferred to the open air, 
and remained exposed to the sun until the end of September, 
when they were taken to Algeria, where they are said to be 
now doing well. — 2 -4, August 6, 88. 


In view of the fact that the cinchona-tree, from which Pe- 
ruvian bark and quinine are obtained, is becoming rapidly ex- 
terminated in South America, in consequence of the reckless 
manner in which the bark is gathered, it is gratifyingto learn 
that the efforts of the British government to cultivate the 
plant artificially in its colonies are meeting with so much 
success. Large plantations are now profitably cultivated in 
India and Ceylon, and we learn that the experiment in Ja- 
maica, lately commenced, has proved entirely satisfactory. 
The plants were first introduced into that island in 1866, and 
had increased to such an extent by the close of 1867 that it 
became necessary to set them out on a large scale. For this' 
purpose six hundred acres were prepared in the Blue Moun- 
tains, at an elevation above the sea of from four thousand to 
six thousand feet, where the soil is said to be admirably adapt- 
ed to the requirements of the plant. Forty acres were first 
cleared and filled with the cinchonas in the course of a year, 
about twenty thousand plants, of five different species, being 
set out. These are said to have stood one of the dryest sea- 
sons ever known on the island without suffering in the least, 
and there seems to be no doubt that the plant can be success^ 
fully reared in Jamaica. — 17 A^ Jviy^ 99. 



No tree Tesists bo well the smoke and impure air of Euro- 
pean cities as the plane (PlcUamta occidentalia)^ although it 
is not a native of that continent. It is the tree most gener- 
ally seen in the church-yards, squares, and other open spaces 
in London, thriving well, and living to a considerable age. 
This is probably in part due to the fact of the outer layer of 
bark being shed yearly, and thus not becoming choked with 
smoke so that its ftinctions are destroyed. The rows of 
young plane-trees planted along the recently opened portion 
of the Thames- embankment, from the Houses of Parliament 
to Charing Cross and the Temple, are growing vigorously, 
and promise in a few years to afford a grateful shade, and to 
add much to the beauty of the banks of the river. 


A new kind of fodder plant (Gymnothrix latifoUa) has re- 
cently been introduced into France from Uruguay. . It is not 
unlike the sugar-cane in appearance, grows eight or nine feet 
high, and is said to make excellent fodder either when green 
or cured. — 9 (7, 18Y1, m., 21. 


A new milk-producing tree in the Valley of the Amazon 
has recently been brought to the notice of Europeans. It is 
known as the Maasarandvba^ and appears to be a species of 
Mimusops^ of the natural order JSapotaeece, The wood is 
valuable, and used for various purposes, and the milk flows 
freely from the trunk upon incision, but hardens on exposure 
to the air, and then has an elastic property similar to that of 
gutta-percha. This juice is used as food when fresh, but never 
in its pure state, being either mixed with a small quantity of 
water, or with coffee or tea like ordinai*y milk. 


Considerable speculation has been expended in regard to 
the derivation of the term " horse-chestnut," any apparent 
connection between the fruit and the animal being, to say the 
least, very remote. It is now suggested that the name was 
originally " harsh-chestnut," as expressive of its peculiar bit- 


ter, acrid taste. The same derivation is also given for the 
horse-radish.* Another equally plaasible derivation is that of 
the term " horse" being applied to indioate some unusually 
large and stroug form, as the horse-olam, etc, — 12 Ay August 

4,277. _. 


It is Stated that carbolic acid has been obtained from a 
species of Andromeda^ occurring in the Neilgherry Hills of 
India, and that, being less deliquescent and far more pure 
than ordinary carbolic acid, it may be made to serve as a sub^ 
stitute in delicate medical cases. The discovery is considered 
one of importance by the East Indian government, and meas- 
ures are proposed for utilizing it on a large scale. We have 
many species of this same genus in North America, but it is 
questionable whether, in the abundance of cheaper sources of 
supply, it would be a profitable business to go into the manu- 
facture. — 6 D, May 20, 622. 


At a meeting of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Phila- 
delphia, Mr. Thomas Meehan exhibited a small plant of the 
common ragweed. Ambrosia artemisimfoliay which had grown 
in a pot in his hot-house. The plant, little more than an inch 
in height, was already provided with fertile flowers and also 
bulblets. He remarked that it was a common impression 
that w^hen land was put down in grass the ragweed disap- 
peared, but that after an unlimited number of years, when the 
ground was broken up, the weed reappeared, as supposed 
from the development of seeds which had long remained in a 
dormant condition. If such pigmy plants as the one exhibit- 
ed can perfect seeds, it is evident that a multitude of theni 
might perpetuate themselves among "the grass unnoticed 
from year to .year, until, under favorable circumstances, a 
crop is produced which becomes conspicuous from their size. 
Thus their occurrence may be explained without the neces- 
sity of an indefinite extent of vitality.— 2 J[>, 1871, J/ay 16. 



The. claim that the maize, or Indian-corn plant, is indige- 
nous to. the soil of the New World, has lately been contested, 
and recent investigations of certain Chinese records are cited 
to prove that it was cultivated in China prior to the discov- 
ery of America. Chinese authors maintain that it came orig- 
inally from countries west of China, and that it was intro- 
duced into that country long before the first arrival of the 
Portuguese in 1517. — 15 A^June 24, 18Y0, 841. 


Much alarm has been caused in Europe by the spread of a 
certain plant, living in running water, called the water-pest 
{Elodea canadensis)^ and said to have been introduced from 
America. By its very rapid growth it speedily chokes up 
the channel- way 6, thus impeding the flow of water in mill- 
races, and interfering also with fishing. A recent German 
writer, however, finds consolation in the fact, which he thinks 
he has ascertained, that this " water-pest" exercises a very 
important function in purifying the water, and that, if planted 
in streams which form the drainage of sewers, it will take up 
entirely and destroy any disagreeable smell, as also the nox- 
ious properties of ordinary sewerage. The composition of its 
ashes is said to be extremely complicated, and the plant it- 
self is recommended as furnishing a manure of the greatest 
value. It has also been tried with success in paper-making. 
There is no doubt of its value as food for the herbivorous 
fishes^ such as the carp, etc., and it will probably yet be cul- 
tivated for this purpose. — 16 (7, ii., 28. 


Many travelers and residents in the West have called at- 
tention to a peculiarity of the so-called ^^ compass plant" (Sil- 
phium laciniatum)^ of the Western prairies, which is alleged 
to possess the remarkable tendency to have the plane of its 
leaves directed north and south to such a degree that these 
points of the compass can readily be determined from their 
examination. This statement has, however, been contradict- 
ed l)y others, who are unable to find any tendency of the 
kind in question. In a recent paper by Mr. Meehan, of Phila- 


delpbia, the discrepancy is reconciled by stating that the pe- 
culiarity is only appreciable 4n the young plants and when 
they first come up, since, after becoming large and heavy, 
they are moved out of place by the wind and rain, and.uur 
able to regain their original position. — 2 D,Octoberj 1870, 


At a meeting of the Academy of Sciences of Paris, speci- 
mens of bread, baked for the use of the army, were exhibited, 
which had been rendered entirely unfit for food by the devel- 
opment of a yellowish-white substance, changing gradually 
to an orange-red color, and emitting a nauseous odor. Con- 
siderable agglomerations of this substance were formed, so as 
to fill all the cavities of the loaf. Wben examined by the 
microscope, this appearance was found to be due to the pres- 
ence of a cryptogamic plant, already described as Oidium 
aurantUKsumj and which was observed in the bread in Paris 
in the summer of 1843, and at a later period at Marseilles 
and in Algeria. The sporules of the Oidium were found to 
adhere to the husk of the wheat, and were probably abundant 
in proportion as this was in a humid state, badly cleansed, 
and had undergone alteration from the larv® of the weevil, 
as it never occurs in bread of the best quality, carefully pre- 
pared. — 20 Aj Sept. 2, 288. 


Some time ago Professor Huxley announced his impression 
that the spore-cases and the spores of coal plants, rather than 
the material of the stem, had been largely or mainly instru- 
mental in the production of coal. Dr. Dawson, of Montreal, 
in a recent paper in the American Joumal of Science, takes 
occasion to present the result of a careful inquiry into this 
subject, in which he comes to the conclusion that these spo- 
rangic bodies are exceptional among coals, and that the cor- 
tical and woody matters are the most abundant ingredients 
in all the ordinary kinds.— 4 2>, 1811^ Aprilj 260. 


It is Stated that certain specimens of supposed fossil wood, 
considered by Professor Dawson, of Montreal, as the oldest 


known instance of the occurrence of the conifera, have proved 
to be really stems of huge algsB, vastly exceeding in size the 
ordinary algae of the present day. It is said, however, that 
there are foims in the antarctic seas that exhibit the nearest 
approach to them, some of these being twenty feet high, and 
as thick as a man's thigh. These have not unfrequently been 
collected by mariners in those seas as fuel, under the belief 
that they were drift-wood. — IB -4, Oct. 2^, 16. 


The announcement is made ia the Canadian Naturalist of 
the discovery by Mr. Camp, on the shores of the harbor of 
Pictou, Nova Scotia, of living specimens of a species of sea- 
weed known as Mccus serratus. This plant, though known 
upon the shores of Northern Europe, had not been authenti- 
cated, at the time of the publication of Dr. Harvey's work on 
the American sea-weeds, as occurring in North America, and 
botanists will be interested to learn that it is actually found 
on this side of the Atlantia The specimens referred to were 
cast on the shore with other sea- weeds, and others were sub- 
sequently found growing sparingly, attached to the rock. It 
is, however, thought not improbable that the plant may have 
been brought in ballast by British ships, and that it is not 
actually, a native of the New World. Its occurrence at Mar- 
blehead, if the statement be correct, would, however, militate 
against the latter idea. — Canad. Naturalist^ SeptylSIO, 361. 


At a meeting of the scientific committee of the IIorticul*> 
tnral Society of London, Mr. Andrew Murray read a paper 
on the blight of plants, in which he combated the ordinary 
theory that the lower forms of vegetable organisms, which 
coi|Stiibiite ordtDary blight, are developed from germs exist- 
ing in the plant or floating in the air. — 12 Ay 89, July 13, 210. 


According to M. J. Berkeley, a disease has lately appeared 
in the coffee plantations of Ceylon which threatens to be- 
come of serious import. The albumen of the berry is devel- 
oped sufficiently to present the usual convoluted appearance, 
bat the growth appears to be suddenly arrested. As a re- 


suit, the substance is not sufficiently solidified, and conse^ 
quently it contracts and acquires a dusky tinge, in some cases 
becoming black. No indications of fungi were observed by 
Mr. Berkeley. The disease has been, attributed to sudden 
changes . of weather, and it is thought to be possibly of no 
more than local development. 


It has lately been ascertained, in corroboration of experi- 
ments made some years ago, but to which little importance 
was attached, that beech-nuts contain a large percentage of 
manganese, although the soil in which they are grown may 
exhibit no appreciable trace of this metal. — 16 A^July^ 1871, 


Some important investigations were prosecuted, not long 
since, by Dr. Keicbenbach upon the chemical composition of 
the. leaves of the mulberry in connection with the silkrworm 
disease, in the course of which he ascertained that such leaves, 
as grown in.Europe generally, had a much less percentage of 
nitrogenous matter than those of China and Japan. He has 
lately continued his inquiries by an analysis of leaves from 
Turkistan, and has found in these an . unusual percentage 
of nitrogen, varying from 3.35 to 4.05 per cent, in the dry 

In some accompanying remarks upon this paper by Liebig, 
stress is laid upon the importance of such investigations in 
determining d priori the value of different qualities of leaves 
for raising silk-worms, and it is stated that where nitrogen is 
deficient, the silk- worm suffers in its general health, and cour 
sequently in its ability to produce a healthy and abundant 
silk cocoon. The cause of the. paucity of nitrogen in the 
European leaves is believed to be the result of long-contin: 
ued cultivation of the tree in the same soil, and especially 
the use of leaves from trees that have attained their full size. 
In a growing plant, as the roots are perpetually pushing out 
into new and unexhausted soil, the proper supply of nourishr 
ment is obtained ; but the moment a. complete development * 
of. the tree is accomplished a diminution of nitrogen in the 
leaves commences, with the results indicated; so much so 



that a yield of even 2^ to 3 per cent, of nitrogen from the 
dry leaves is not common. — 14 (7,C., 326. 


Mr. Karsten has published the detail of observations made 
upon himself in reference to poison by exposure to the shade 
of the manzanilla-tree {Bippomanea manzaniMa,) After re- 
maining several hours under the tree, he experienced a buni- 
iog sensation over the entire surface of his body, which at 
length centred in certain parts of the skin, especially about 
the fac.e, and above all around the eyes. After a time the 
eyes were swelled so as to be almost closed, and were so sen- 
sitive that for several days he found it necessary to remain 
in a perfectly-darkened room, being also in great pain. After 
three days, the swelling diminished, and the epidermis began 
to peel off. These symptoms he supposed to be the result of 
poisonous: exhalations from the tree, a peculiarity which is 
shared with the manzanilla in South America by several oth- 
er species of plants. An analogue of these deleterious exha- 
lations may be seen in certain volatile organic bases, such as 
trimethylamin ; and it is suggested that similar nitrogenous 
combinations may have a much wider distribution than has 
hitherto been suspected. — 18 (7, 1871, July 19, 463. 


Von Pettenkofer, in the course of his researches upon the 
amount of evaporation which takes place from the foliage of • 
plants, ascertained in the case of an oak-^tree that this in- 
creased gradually from May to July, and then decreased till 
October. The number of leaves on the tree were estimated 
at about ^51^^00, and the total amount of evaporation, in the 
ycsar at 539 cubic centimetres crf^ water for the whole area of 
the leaves. As the average rain-fall for the same period was 
only 65 centimetres, the amount of evaporation is thus eight 
and a half times greater than that of the rain-fall. This ex- 
cess must, of course, be drawn up by the roots from a great 
depth. The inference is derived from the above that trees 
prevent the gradual drying of a climate by restoring to the 
air the moisture which would carried off by 
drainage.-^13\4, i^firwary 1, 120. 



According to Botalin, notwithstanding the many experi- 
ments that have been made in regard to the physiology of 
vegetation, little or nothing has been determined as to the 
action of light upon the tissues of plants. This gentleman 
has, consequently, occupied himself in prosecuting inquiries 
in relation to this subject. His memoir, lately published by 
the Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg, contains an ex- 
haustive detail of observations and researches on this sub- 
ject, but our space will permit us to give only a few. of the 
practical conclusions to which he came. Among these may 
be mentioned tte following : Direct sunlight or strong light 
retards the subdivision of the chlorophyl parenchyma cells, 
while diffused light favors such a division in the parenchyma 
cells of the bark. Absence of light has the same retarding 
effect as strong light. Light has no influence upon the divi- 
sion of the epidermis cells. Strong light, as well as entire 
darkness, retards the division of the cells of the parench3rma 
of the bark. The absence of light produces a slight thicken- 
ing of the parenchyma cells. Light exercises no influence 
upon the thickening of the cells on the inside bark, and of 
the wood.— J!f^. Biol Acad. Sc. St. Peterdmrg^ 1870,Vn., 269. 


. Some of our readers may not be familiar with the readiness 
with which the color of the flowers, of the common garden 
hydrangea can be altered artificially. If a sixth part of iron 
filings be mixed with the earth in which the plant is grown, 
it will frequently, although not always, change *from its orig- 
inal pink color to a light blue. A cutting, however, taken 
from the plant thus changed, and grown without iron filings, 
reverts to its previous color. — 6 -4, 1870, July 16, 81. 


The statement of Dutrochet that a considerable amount 
of heat is generated by fungi during the process of growth, 
as well as of decomposition, has been substantiated by Mr. 
Smith, who found it to be greater in the species of Boletus 
emeus than in any other plant excepting the Arum, In one 



instance, where several specimens of JBoletus were packed in 
a box, it was found that the temperature of the air was raised 
from seventy to seventy-five degrees, an increase readily ap- 
parent to the hand. — 12 A^ September 8, 380. 


The question whether a plant killed by frost is destroyed 
while freezing or during the subsequent thawing is one that 
has excited considerable interest on the part of physiologists, 
who have, however, in vain endeavored to answer it. Quite 
unexpectedly, a method has been placed at the command of 
experimenters that enables them' to solve the problem satis- 
factorily. In some tropical countries plants of the genus 
JPhajus and Qalanthe have long been known to contain indi- 
go ; this, while they are living, being in the form of indigo- 
white, oV indigotin, the blue color exhibiting itself only after 
death; If, for instance, the milky-white flowers of the Oor 
lanthe be crushed in the hand, they become instantaneously 
blue, furnishing an excellent opportunity of showing the re- 
lationship between indigo and indigotin. If, now, these flow- 
ers be frozen, they imm'ediately assume the blue color of in- 
digo, appearing at flrst a pale blue, then darker* the pollea 
masses alone retaining their natural yellow color throughout. 
The cold air supplies the place of a reagent, and is, indeed, 
more sensitive than any other that chemistry can produce. 
The flower-stems, with their white bracts, are also changed 
into blue. These experiments, more or less modified, have 
been applied repeatedly to the plants mentioned, and to oth- 
ers allied to them, and always with the definite result of 
proving that death occurs during the freezing, and is not de- 
ferred until the thawing out. Similar changes of color ii-e 
produced on these plants by such chemical agencies as cause 
death in whole or in part, as by immersion in sulphide of car- 
bon, ethereal oil, ether, etc. Concentrated solutions of hydro- 
chlorate of moi-phia and nitrate of strychnine do not, howev- 
er, cause this change, showing that they have comparatively 
little noxious influence upon plants. — 1 C, xxvl, 1871, 412. 


In conducting experimej^ts upon the transpiration of fluid 
by leaves, it is a matter of importance to determine the ra- 


pidity of ascent of the fluid. Professor Church suggests for 
this case the use of lithium citrate, a salt easily taken up by 
plants, and one which can be detected with the greatest read- 
iness by meaqs of the spectroscope* Its advantages consist 
in its containing an organic acid, and iiT not being likely to 
meet with any obstruction to its passage from the tissues. 
An experiment has lately been made wth this liquid, as sug- 
gested, with great success ; in one instance the fluid having 
risen nine inches in thirty minutes, in another five and a half 
inches in ten minutes. This is thought superior to the use of 
coloring matters, which seemed to experience considerable 
resistance in their passage through the vessels. — 12 A, Octo- 
ber 21,1810,615. 


It is by no means an uncommon assumption that illumina- 
ting gas, in escaping from pipes into the soil, exercises a poi- 
sonous influence upon vegetation, and a suit was recently 
brought at Aix-la-Chapelle by the city authorities against a 
gas company for recovery of supposed damage to the shade- 
trees of the city resulting from their careless method of lay- 
ing the pipdb. This was the cause of a detailed series of ex- 
periments in regard to the assumed fact, and, somewhat to the 
surprise of every one, it was ascertained that purified illumi- 
nating gas had really little or no injurious effect of the kind 
asserted. The experiments were conducted by eminent chem- 
ists, and included trials with pure hydrogen, light carburet- 
ed hydrogen, and heavy carbureted hydrogen, as well as pu- 
rified illuminating gas. A discharge, during an entire day, 
of these various gaseous substances into the soil of vessels 
cofltaining growing plants was found to produce little, if any, 
hurtful result. It was difierent, however, when these same 
gases were impregnated with the constituents of coal tar, es- 
pecially with carbolic acid, in which case, after a few days, a 
very decided injury to the vegetation was found to have 
taken place. The eflect seemed to be that these impurities, 
coming in contact with the roots of the plants, deposit tarry 
matter upon them, which ultimately caused death by a kind 
of asphyxia. The smallest quantity of carbolic acid was 
found to have a very decided influence, so that the princi- 
pal caution to be observed, as far as injurious I'esults are con- 



cemed, is to see that the carbolic acid is entirely eliminated. 
In one experiment a discharge of gas was allowed to take 
place for three hours daily for a period of an entire year, and 
the effect, if any thing, was to secure a fuller development of 
the plant. 

All that those experiments appear to. prove, however, is 
that perfectly pure illuminating gas is not injurious to the 
Toots of vegetation, the fact remaining demonstrable that or- 
dinary gas does have a marked noxious effect. The elaborate 
communication in 1858 to the Philadelphia Academy of Nat- 
ural Sciences, by Mr. Fahnestock, shows this very clearly in 
a- case where the contents of a large green-house were de- 
stroyed. In another instance, a stroke of lightning, passing 
along the street gas-mains in Racine in 1867, disturbed their 
joints and caused a leakage which resulted in the death of 
nearly all the shade-trees along an entire 8quai*e. — 15 (7, 
1870, 86. 


A method in use on the Continent of Europe for drying 
herbs, flowers, etc., and keeping them in drawers free from 
moisture, especially in damp weather, may be applied not in- 
appropriately to the preservation of certain objects of natural 
history, especially prepared plants and insects. This plan 
consists in inserting a shallow tin pan in the bottom of the 
drawer, and fitting to it a covering of metallic gauze or mus- 
lin. Fused carbonate of potash is to be placed in the pan, 
and the objects are allowed to rest on its porous cover. Rose- 
leaves and other delicate substances may be dried in this 
way without losing any of their perfume. Where the mate- 
rial to be dried contains* much water, it is necessary to change 
the carbonate of potash occasionally, and to remelt it. In ad- 
dition to the apparatus mentioned, the drawer should have a 
tightly-fitting lid on tap, so as to close it more completely. — 


Wooden labels for plants, to be inserted in the ground, 
may, it is said, be preserved for an indefinite time by first 
dipping them in a solution of one part of copper vitriol 
and twenty-four parts of water, and subsequently immersing 


in lime-water or a solution of gypsum. — 6 C^July 14,18*70, 



Mr. A. Gr^s, in a recent memoir upon the pith of woody 
plants, endeavors to show that this pith, in the dicotyledon- 
ous species, is not simple and uniform in its organization, as 
has been supposed, but that it is capable of furnishing appre- 
ciable characteristics for a natural classij^cation. He finds 
that it preserves its vitality for many years, sometimes even 
to a very advanced age, and that it contains in one part or 
other oi'its cellules a supply of nutritive material in the form 
of starch and tannin, which is taken up again at the moment 
of the development of the new verdui*e in spring. He thinks, 
also, that it participates with some of the tissues of the wood 
itself in the nutntiou of the plant, and that it fills an impor- 
tant physiological place, being far from drying up after the 
second year, and thus becoming subsequently only a dead 
tissue. — 3-5, xxv., August 10, 181. 


The Structure* of the flowers o{ Rhodea japonica is such 
that fertilization can only take place when the calyx has been 
gnawed through in some way during the period of blooming. 
This is accomplished usually by snails, which habitually in- 
fest the plant. These creep out along the spathes and gnaw 
the calyx without injuring the ovary. The mutual relation- 
ship between this plant and snails is so close, that the culti- 
vation of the one has even been suggested as a means of se- 
curing the. destruction of the other in a garden, since wher- 
ever planted it is sure to be sought out by the snails, which 
accumulate in quantities upon it, and are readily captured. 
— 1 (7, 1870, 578. 



In an elaborate article by Mr. Sorby upon the varied tints 
of autumnal foliage in the Quarterly Journal of Science^ he 
comes to the conclusion that the production of the fine tints 
of autumn is an evidence of diminished vital powers of the 
plants. This generalization also agrees with the fact that 
the unhealthy branches of a tree turn yellow, while the rest 


remain green, the subsequent. development of more sombre 
tints being evidence of more complete death. This change 
may occur without the agency of frost, but is generally 
brought about prematurely when subjected to the influence 
of the latter. — 1 A^ March 31, 160. 


Dr. B. Frank contributes to the Botanische Zeitung some 
observations on this subject. He confirms the statement of 
Famintzin and Borodon as to the motion observed in the 
grains of chlorophyl in the leaves of plants under the action 
of light, and identifies it with the movements of the proto- 
plasm previously observed by Sachs. The protoplasm alone, 
he believes, possesses this power of motion, and carries the 
grains of chlorophyl along with it. It takes place not only 
in direct sunshine, but also under the diflnsed light of the sky. 
Colored rays, as blue and red, also produce decided though 
less energetic action. 


In a paper by Dr. MacNab on the transpiration of water 
by leaves, he states, as the general conclusions reached by 
liis investigations, that the mean of several experiments gave 
about sixty-three per cent: as the quantity of water con- 
tained in the leaves, and that the quantity of water remova- 
ble by chloride df calcium or sulphuric acid was not equal to 
that transpired under the stimulus of the sun. About five 
per cent, of the water was determined to be fluid, in relation 
to the cell sap of the plant. About three per cent, per hour 
was given out under the sunlight, a little over half of one per 
cent, in difibsed light, and less than half of one per cent, in 
darkness. About twenty-six per cent, per hour was trans- 
pired in a saturated atmosphere in the sunshine, and twenty 
and a half per cent, in a dry atmosphere, while in the shade 
none was transpired in a saturated atmosphere, and less than 
two per cent, in a dry atmosphere. Leaves immersed in 
water take up a little over four per cent, in an hour and a 
half, and it was established that plants absorb no moisture 
whatever in a state of vapor through their leaves. In light* 
of any kind the nndei* side of leaves was found to transpire 
much more water than the upper. The experiments of Dr. 


MacNab were made upon the laurel cherry {I^^mits latere- 
C6r(MW5),the liquid used for testing the rapidity of the ascent 
being the lithium citrate. — 13 A^Jhbruarj/ 1, 120. 


An experim^t was madeby Vogel upon the influence of 
ammonia upon the colors of flowers, in which eighty-six spe- 
cies and varieties were exposed, under a glass bell, to a mix- 
ture of sal ammoniac and lime-water, the fresh flowers being 
placed at the same height in all the experiments; As a gen- 
eral result, a difference was appreciable. between the action 
of the gas upon the colored matter deposited in granules and 
that forming a solution, the effect being much less in the 
former than in the latter. In most cases the changes pro- 
duced asrreed closelv with those which the coloring matter 
of the flowers passed through in the course of withering; and 
even in natural withering and fading there is the same differ- 
ence to be observed between the soluble colors and the gran- 
ules. — 19 C^Aifgtist 5, 260. 



In a memoir by M. Becquerel the elder upon the action of 
electricity upon the colored tissues of vegetables, he remarks 
that electrical discharges, whether strong or weak, produce 
three distinct actions upon the colors of the leaves of plants 
and the flower : First, that by virtue of which the parts elec- 
trized allow the coloring matters, which are in a state of so- 
lution in the cellules, to be absorbed, or, rather, Altered in 
cold water, in which they are plunged after electiization. 
This effect takes place principally with i-ed and blue colors^ 
while the yellow shades, due to th5 solid granules situated 
in the cellules, do not appear to be modifled. Second, a di- 
rect decolorizing action upon red and blue coloring matters, 
which are found in a liquid state in the cellules whenever the 
electrization of the plant is sufficiently prolonged, this effect 
being sometimes very rapid. Third, infiltration, so to speak, 
or a transfer of coloring matter sensible to the preceding in- 
fluences, and that found in the interior of the electrized or- 
gans. An example is seen in the effect produced in the red, 
found in the under surface of leaves of the JBegonia discolor^ 


its color, daring the electrization of the leaf, becoming grad- 
ually infiltrated toward the upper green surface, so as to 
mask the color of the chlorophyl. He farther remarks that 
the atmosphere and the earth are constantly in two dissimi- 
lar electrical conditions, the first possessing an excess of pos- 
itive electricity, the second of negative, these two excesses 
becoming neutralized by means of the conducting substances 
found at the surface of the earth, plants especially* — 3 B^ xii., 
July 20, 660. 


It has been shown, by careful experiment, that sickly pot- 
ted plants, even some that have almost . died out, can be 
greatly benefited, and sometimes, indeed, entirely restored to 
vigdr, by applying warmi water to them instead of cold. In 
certain cases, oleanders which had never bloomed, or did so 
only imperfectly, after being treated with lukewarm water, 
increasing the temperature gradually from 140° up to 170° 
Fahr., produced the most magnificent luxuriance of bloom. 
Similar results occurred with an old plant otlToya^ and also 
with an India-rubber-tree which had nearly withered away. 
In all these cases the application of water heated to about 
110° Fahr., without any other precaution, caused a new and 
flourishing growth, — 8 C, December 8, 1870,391. 

• . PLANTS. 

A paper has been published by Koppen upon the relation- 
ship of conditions of heat to the phenomena of growth in 
plants, his first inquiry being limited to the questions con- 
nected with the germination of the seed* The general con- 
clusion arrived at was that variations of temperature were in 
all cases prejudicial to the growth of the germ, even when 
amounting to but a few degrees, and these within limits fa^ 
vorable to energetic growth ; that is to say, the germination 
proceeds more rapidly at a low temperature. of a uniform de- 
gree than at a higher where subjected to more or less varia- 
tion. From this we derive the inference that a nearly uni- 
form spring temperature, with a cloudy sky, is more favorable 
to rapid development of vegetation than the alternation of 

hot days and co6l nights, it being of course understood that 

N 2 


the mean temperature in each case is about the same. — 19C7, 
XXVI. , July 1, 209. 


The result of an investigation by Bialoblocki, in regard to 
the influence of the warmth of soil upon the development of 
certain cultivated plants, is summed up by him in the follow- 
ing words : The influence of warmth of the soil is made man- 
ifest* in two directions : in the shortening or lengthening of 
the period of vegetation, and in affecting the external form 
of the plant, the acceleration of growth of vegetation occur- 
ring principally in the earlier periods. With an ascending 
temperature of the soil, vegetation is forwarded up to a cer- 
tain point. From the moment, however, when this point is 
reached, an inci'ease of temperature in the soil actually retards 
growth. The maximum point of favorable temperature of 
the soil varies for different plants, but the, maintenance of a 
constant temperature has for its result a more vigorous growth 
of the plant experimented on. The extreme limit of a con- 
stant temperature o/the soilVt which a growth of the roots 
cifkn still take place we may assume to be below, but very 
near louf Fahr. A ground temperature of 60° Fahr. barely 
allows plants to fulfill completely all their functions of life 
and conditions Oi** development. An increased ground tem- 
perature has BO special' ilnfluence upon the absorption of nu- 
tritious matter through the rov^t,^, and the accelerated growth 
resulting from an increase of heat ig usually accompaiiied*by 
a greater percentage of water in the fi^lant. — 18C, xxxl, Au- 
gust 2, 486. ^ 


Experiments have been prosecuted of lata by German phys- 
iologists in regard to the cultivation of plaints in aqueous so- 
lutions of different substances without the a^ddition of any 
earth, and, as the general result, we are intv>nned that a 
plant will grow, bloom, and ripen fruit without l>eing insert- 
ed in soil of any kind, but simply in a liquid whicl^ con^ios 
eight different substances, namely, potash, lime, iu«^^esia, 
iron, sulphuric acid, phosphoric acid, chlorine, and nitn'c acid, 
the nitric acid being capable of being replaced by amoionia 
or hippuric acid, uric acid, etc. It is furthermore stated tL^t 


neither the nitrogen compounds, iron, nor any other of these 
eight bodies can be omitted from the fluid in question if the 
plants are to pass through their various stages of develop- 
ment without becoming bleached or prematurely dwarfed. 
It is also shown by the experiments that while only these 
eight bodies are necessary elements of our culture-plants, 
others, found in ashes, such as silicic acid, manga^nese, copper, 
fluorine, and soda, are to be considered, if not essential, at any 
rate useful. Finally, the expenments appear to show that a 
plant is capable of deriving the whole of the carbon necessary 
for its growth, for the increase of its foliage, for the formation 
of sugar, starch, etc., from the atmospheric air, in the form of 
carbonic acid, by means of the stomata of its leaves. This 
novel method of prosecuting investigations upon the grpwth 
of plants and the formation of their tissues and components, 
it is believed, tends much toward securing exact results in 
such researches, and in time may enable us to acquire a thor- 
ough knowledge of the phenomena involved. — 6 C, 1871, 
June 1, 216. 



Mr. Vogel, of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, has made 
a series of interesting experiments on the germination of seeds 
exposed to the action of different chemicals, either in a solid 
or a liquid condition. • He found that many chemical combi- 
nations, though absolutely insoluble in distilled water, injured 
or destroyed the germs of seeds, and inferred that the process 
of germination itself produces vegetable acids which then act 
as solvents. He was actually able to determine, by sprout- 
ing barley, clover, and water-cress, the amount of said acids, 
which, though differing with different seeds, was always quite 
considerable. He experimented with Prussian blue, carbon- 
ate of magnesia, oxide and carbonate of copper, chromate of 
mercury, sulphjir, and antimonial preparations, and, more re- 
cently, with aniline and araorpheus phosphorus, and found 
that all these insoluble substances prevented germination, 
either entirely or to a great extent, while the presence of 
sttblimed indigo had not the least effect. Of solutions, he 
mentions chromate of potash (nitrate of silver) and arsenious 
acid as especially injurious, and states that other mineral 
acids, when very much diluted, are less obnoxious. Remark- 



able for the anomaly is the destructive influence of acetic acid, 
so harmless to the animal organism, which, even in very small 
quantity, prevented germination as completely as the poison- 
pus oxalic acid ; prussic acid, on the contrary, only retarded 
the development of the germ. Being volatile, it disappears 
from the solution, and a great proportion of the seeds germi- 
nated, while arsenic acid destroyed the germs entirely. Mr. 
Vogel also exposed his seeds to an atmosphere of coal gas, 
and found that,- when thoroughly purified, its influence was 
not deleterious. Believing that the destructive action of the 
impure gas is due to the admixture of tar, he examined some 
of its constituents, and found naphthaline to be quite harmless 
to vegetation, while a mininium of carbolic acid was sufficient 
to kill every trace of germination. — Sitz. ber. K. Bayer. Akad. 
der Wiss. MiXnchsn^ 18V0, 11., 3, 289. 


Mr. A. Czerny, of Austria, states, as the result of long-con- 
tinued observations and experiments, that the strongest and 
best fruit-trees can be raised from seed, thus obviating a 
great deal of expense and disappointment to the pomologist. 
According to his observations, the extent and ramification of 
the roots of a healtfiy tree is to that of its crown in the ratio 
of three to two, so that the action of the roots is always pre- 
ponderating. In this relation he finds the reason why fruit 
seeds from trees, budded or grafted upon indifferent stocks, 
have always been found unreliable, and he endeavors, as the 
first step, to obtain good trees grown upon their own stock, 
the seeds of which, he says, will reproduce their parents with 
certainty. To this end he layers ^ branch of a good tree, 
which, when well rooted, serves him as stock, into which he 
introduces buds or scions of such varieties as promise to im- 
prove the original fruit. By judicious cross fertilization he 
obtains fruit the seed of which will propagate, to a greater 
or less extent,^ the good qualities of the varieties used in hy- 
bridizing, and thus a new fruit is originated which, when 
suitable, can always be reproduced from its seed. Such trees, 
says Mr. Czerny, are more healthy and vigorous (having nev- 
er been wounded by the knife), bear earlier, and, when acci- 
dentally injured in the stem, throw out shoots identical with 
those of the original tree. — 8 (7, 1871,101. 




The removal of moss from fruit-trees, as well as their ju- 
dicioas pruning, is of great importance . to their health, this 
growth being not only detrim^ital to the vigor of the tree, 
but also serving as a convenient hiding-place for injurious 
insects. Its eradication may be accomplished by first scrap- 
ing off carefully and then covering the places where it grew 
with a thin paste of equal pai*ts of plaster and potters' clay, 
in water. The moss will disappear and the bark of the tree 
become smooth and healthy. Dead and broken limbs, suck- 
ers, etc., should also be removed annually, and the head of 
the tree always kept open to air and light. Pruning is usu- 
ally done late in the fall or winter; but many horticulturists 
now recommend the latter part of the summer as the fitting 
time.— 9 (7, 1871, i^6^. 12. 


The German Association for beet-root industry, at Berlin, 
has lately offered a prize of a thousand thalers for the solu- 
tion of the following problem : The yield of crystallized white 
sugar from the different crude beet sugars is not in a direct 
ratio to their polarization. What investigations and calcu- 
lations can be suggested in order to determine theoretically, 
beforehand, the yield, in refined white sugar, which any beet- 
root sugar will furnish. — 14 (7.,CCI., 279. 


According to NaJture^ Proifessor Decaisne has brought to 
the notice of the Academy of Sciences in Paris a scheme for 
the rapid growing of cabbages, radishes, etc., which are to be 
sown in richly-manured soil, and then used, stem, root, and 
all, as fresh vegetables. This diet is intended to protect the 
inhabitants of Paris against the scurvy, which may be ex- 
pected to make its appearance in time in consequence of the 
necessity jof using salted meats. — 12 A^ Dec, 16, 1870, 132. 


An ingenious method of forcmg the growth of mushrooms, 
so as to furnish a constant supply, has been devised by a 
Baron De Tincal. This gentleman places a number of little 


boxes in his stable, about three feSt long and ten inches wide, 
arranged on shelves like those of a book-cast, before which a 
thick curtain slides in order to keep out the light. He sows 
the spawn of the mushroom in a bed of compost of horse-> 
dung, or dead leaves and vegetable earth well manured, and 
he has in this way a crop of mushrooms all the year round. 
The horses in the stalls are said to be none the worse for 
this process, and no unhealthy emanations have ever been re- 
marked in the stables. — 2 A^ Aitgust 6, 88. 


An eminent pomologist in Brussels, De Johnghe, has suc- 
ceeded in obtaining well-grown apples and pears in dry sea- 
sons by watering the trees from time to time, and by making 
holes in the ground underneath them and occasionally intro- 
ducing some liquid, but not very highly concentrated, ma- 
nure. This application is stated to be particularly important 
at the time when the fruit is setting. — 9 (7, vii., Jidy^ 63, 


A method of preserving fruit, quite frequently adopted in 
Russia, consists in slacking fresh lime by sprinkling it with 
water and adding a little creosote. The fruit is to be packed 
in wooden boxes, with a layer of the prepared chalk powder 
of an inch in depth at the bottom. This layer is to be first 
covered with a sheet of paper, and upon it the fruit is to be 
laid so as not to touch each other. On the first layer of fruit 
another sheet of paper is placed, with the lime powder sprink- 
led over it, and a sheet of paper over this ; upon this another 
layer of fruit is spread, as before, and' the process continued 
until the box is full. The corners may then be filled with 
charcoal. If a tight^fitting cover is put on the box, the fruit, 
it is said, will maintain its freshness for ai least a year. — 
10 (7, «7ime, 1870, 87. 


The culture of asparagus was lately the subject of discus- 
sion by the members of the Horticultural Society in Dessau, 
and among the views expressed were the following: That 
the old method of burying large quantities of manure deep 
under the.surface was objectionable, since asparagus does not 


derive its nourishment froni a great dfepth, and the plants 
often become too deeply imbedded when the thick substratum 
of manure collapses, by rotting. The preference often given 
to old plants, in making selections for a new bed, was also 
considered a mistake. Plants become sickly and less vigor- 
ous in the seed-bed, so as to be much more sensitive to the 
change in transplanting. Southern exposure, shelter from 
cold winds, a porous soil, and the total absence .of trees, were 
recommended as essential conditions to the highest success. 
The soil is to be turned to the depth of from two to three 
feet, and then manured to the depth of one foot. This is 
most conveniently done in autumn, during dry weather. 
Spring i's the best time for planting, and the best direction 
of the trenches for the reception of the plants is from north 
to south. The earth taken from the trenches is ^' walled up," 
as it is termed, between the rows, and upon these other vege- 
tables may be cultivated while the asparagus bed is young, 
but they are eventually absorbed in filling up the ditch 
around 'and between the plants. Well-rotted manure, or 
suitable compost, is combined with the earth of the walls for 
this purpose. Besides giving constant attention to stirring 
the soil and weeding, the young plants need to be watered 
regularly whenever the state of the weather requires it. — 10 
C, 1871, 28. 


A German agricultural journal informs us that the grape- 
vine can be propagated by means of eyes, so as to save three 
•years' time in the growth, each eye furnishing a new shoot. 
Each grape-vine will furnish as many shoots as it has sound 
eyes, and they are to be cut off about a quarter of an inch 
from the eye on each side, so as to leave a cylinder of wood 
about 4ialf an inch long, with the eye in the centre. If pre- 
pared in the autumn, these eyes may be put in a cellar in 
winter. In April they are to be laid down at a depth of two 
or three inches in furrows about six inches apart, and covered 
with a little manure, watered in dry weather, and the earth 
about them occasionally loosened. — 9 C^ February^ 1870, 12. 



A horticulturist in Stuttgardt has devised an ingenious 
method of rearing grape-vines in pots so as to obtain grapes 
with very little trouble in a room or other sheltered place. 
For this purpose a vigorous, healthy cutting of the late growth 
of the wood is taken, from three to five feet in length, having 
at the upper, end two fruit-buds. The cutting is to be en- 
tirely enveloped with moss, and bound with bast, but so as 
to leave the extremity bearing the fruit-buds uncovered. The 
cutting thus prepared is to be inserted spirally into a suffi- 
ciently large flower-pot, leaving the fruit-buds projecting 
above the edge of the pot, which is then to be filled with rich 
hot-bed earth well moistened, and placed in the sun behind a 
window and kept uniformly moist. The water applied should 
never be cold, but rather lukewarm, so as to stimulate to 
the utmost the development of the young roots. When the 
weather is such that there is no danger from night frosts, the 
pot may be placed outside the window or against & sunny- 
wall, or even inserted in the ground in order to secure a more 
uniform moisture and temperature. When the two fruit- 
buds have produced branches, having bunches of grapes upon 
them, these shoots are to be trimmed so that two sound leaver 
remain over each grape-shoot, in order to keep up. the cir- 
culation of the sap, since without this the grapes would not 
develop. A single leaf would be sufficient, but two are bet- 
ter, for greater security. An occasional watering with a liq- 
uid manure is advisable in order to stimulate the growth of 
the plant, although this must be applied with cai*e, since an 
excess will do more harm than good. In one instance a 
grape-shoot treated in this way produced nine large bunches 
of fine, grapes, although 6uch a number would be. rather more 
than could conveniently be. supported by the plant* — 8 C, 
Jw/y 28,1870,244. 


Travelers inform us that the Chinese have a method of 
preserving grapes so as to have them at their. command dur- 
ing the entire year, and a recent author gives us the follow- 
ing account of the method adopted. It consisits in cutting a 
circular piece out of a ripe pumpkin or gourd, making an 


aperture large enough to admit the hand. The interior is 
then completely cleaned out, the ripe grapes are placed in- 
side, and the cover replaced and pressed in firmly. The pump- 
kins are then kept in a cool place, and the grapes ^ill be 
found to retain their freshness for a very long time. We are 
told that a very careful selection must be made of the pump- 
kin, the common field pumpkin^ however, being well adapted 
for the purpose in question. — 8 (7, 1871, e/w/y 28, 240. 


A niethod for preserving grapes through the winter, intro- 
duced by M. Tremellat, of Marseilles, is commended in agri- 
cultural journals as answering its purpose better than many 
of the improved methods of the day. This depends upon 
the fact that, in the ordinary, storage of grapes, a portion of 
the jrater, both of the stem and of the berry, is lost by evap- 
oration, so that they dry up unless moisture is restored to 
t];iem. To obviate this difficulty, the bunches are cut in such 
a manner as to leave a considerable portion of the adjacent 
woody part of the vine, and are then suspended over a ves- 
sel filled with water, so that while only hanging near tKe sur- 
face of the water the ends of the stems are immersed. As 
the moisture evaporates from the grapes it is restored by 
capillary absorption through the stem, and no change takes 
place. By means of the arrangement thus indicated, M. Tre- 
mellat has succeeded in keeping grapes from one year over 
into another, fresh and fair as in the moment of gathering, 
and his method is now used on a large scale in Parid and 
elsewhere. — 13(7,1871,791. 


The French goverament established many years ago in Al- 
geria a ** jardin d'essai," in which all plants likely to be easily 
grown in Algeria, and which might be useful either for their 
omanlentation or from their economic value, should be kept 
for distributioii or for sale. The Soci6t6 G6nerale Algerienne 
has now the control of tbese gardens, and, under the able 
management of its present president, M. Auguste Rivere, they 
have attained great interest and importance. An avenue was 
planted in 1 847, which now consists of about eighty trees of 
the dd.te-palm, from 20 to 50 feet high, and about one hundred 


and fifty of the dragon's-blood tree {DracoBna draco) ^ about 8 
feet in height. All the trees were, in December last, in full 
flower or fruit. Among the more remarkable of the smaller 
avenues is one formed of bamboo {Bambvsa arundin(xcea)y 
planted in 1 863, and forming an immense mass of foliage, the 
stems supporting which are from 40 to 50 feet high ; and an- 
other formed of about one hundred plants of Chamcerops ex- 
celsa^ each being about 10 feet in height; other palms which 
flourish to perfection are Caryota wrens and C Cumingii^ 
growing 15 feet high and covered with fruit; Oreodoxa regia^ 
from Cuba ; several plants i|pwai*d of 25 feet in height, and 
a plant of Juboa spectoMlis 12 feet high. There is a small 
forest of Anona cherimoya in full fruit, which is nearly as 
good as that of the closely related species which yields the 
custard-apple. Near this is an immense tree, some 30 feet in 
height, covered with fruit of the Avocado pear {Persecugra- 
tissima)^ and at its feet a quantity of guava-trees {Pisidi- 
um cattleyamia) crowded with its perfectly ripe, large, pear- 
shaped, golden fruit. In the New Holland district of the 
garden are different species of acacia, many of them 20 to 25 
feet in height, and magnificent trees of several genera of Pro- 
teacese, Banksia^ Hokea^ and Grrevillea ; and trees of Mtcch 
lypttis globtdus^ planted in 1862, and then only a few inches 
high, which are now about 40 feet in height, and over 4^ feet 
in circumference. There is a specimen of Araucaria exceUa 
about 60 feet high, and measuring a little over 9 feet in cir- 
cumference at its base. 


One of the most successful attempts at sub-tropical garden- 
ing in England is on the estate of Mr. Robert Were Fox, F. R. 
S., at Penjerrich, near Falmouth, in Cornwall. The tempera- 
ture is here extremely mild in winter, the thermometer never 
falling below the freezing-point for more than two or three 
nights in succession, and hardly ever below 30° F., and snow 
never lying on the ground. Many trees and shrubs which 
are only seen in hot-houses in other parts of England here 
grow to perfection out of doors. The hydrangeas, covered 
with magnificent masses of blue flowers, here form splendid 
banks by the side of a stream running through the grounds, 
the small lakes in which are covered with several* exotic spe- 


cies of water-lily, and the grass by the side carpeted with the 
selaginelle, which forms such a favorite bed for ferns in green- 
houses. There is a specimen of rhododendron 180 feet in cir- 
cumference, and the camellias are every where loaded with 
fruit. The dragon's-blood-ti'ee {Draecena draco) grows well 
dut of doors, as also does the Australian gum-tree {Euealyp- 
tu8 globult48). There is a magnificent specimen of the cam- 
phor-tree (Lauru^ camphora)^ and several of the rare JSen- 
thamia. Several marmosets are allowed free liberty in the 
grounds, climbing to the tops of the highest trees, and al- 
ways returning to the house at night. At a spot on Fal- 
mouth Harbor called Flushing, the temperature through the 
year is even still more equable, and the establishment of a 
tropical garden there would probably be attended with the 
most successful results. 


We have already referred to the investigations of Sorby in 
regard to the various tints of foliage, and especially to the 
change of color in the leaves in autumn ; and in a late num- 
ber of iVa^t/re we find a riattmi by him, giving the present 
state of his inquiries on the subject. He separates the differ- 
ent coloring matters into five groups : first, the chlorophyl 
group, characterized by being insoluble in water, but soluble 
in alcohol and in bisulphide of carbon, and embracing three 
or four species ; second, the xanthophyl group, containing 
several species,^only two of which are common in leaves, one 
being more and the -other less orange. They are character- 
ized by being insoluble in water, and soluble in alcohol and 
in bisulphide of carbon, differing, however, from the members 
of the first-mentioned group in having peculiar spectra ; third, 
the erythrophyl ^Yow^^ comprising a number of colors soluble 
in water, in alcohol, and in ether, but insoluble in bisulphide 
of carbon. Those met with in leaves are more or less pur- 
ple, are made bluer by alkalies and redder by acids; and 
thus sometimes plants containing the. same kind may vary 
more in tint, owing to a variation in the amount of free acid, 
than others colored by entirely different kinds. Among the 
species some have very interesting botanical relationships, be- 
ing so far found only in particular classes of plants. Fourth, 
the chrysotannic group, containing a considerable number of 


yellow colors, some so pale as to be nearly colorless, and oih- 
•rs of a fine dark golden yellow. They are soluble in water, 
in alcohol, and in ,ether, but not in bisulphide of carbon. Of 
these there are two sub-groups, one in which a dark color is 
produced with ferric salts, constituting the tannic acid sub- 
group, and the other giving, no such reaction, and forming 
the chrysophyl sub-group. In both sub-groups the intensity 
of color is usually greatly increased by partial oxidization, 
and they are thus altered into colors of the following group. 
Fifth, the phaiophyl group, which comprise a number of col- 
ors insoluble in bisulphide of carbon, and of very variable 
solubility in water or alcohol. These are in that state of oxi- 
dization which has a maximum intensity of color, and are sim- 
ply decolorized by further oxidization. Our author proceeds 
to state that the numerous tints of foliage depend almost en- 
tirely on the relative and absolute amount of the various col- 
ors of these different groups, although all their relationships 
can not at present be explained. 

The color of green leaves is mainly due to a mixture of 
chlorophyl and xanthophyl, and the variation in the relative 
and absolute amount of these easily accounts for the darker 
and brighter greens. The tints are also much modified by 
the presence of colors of the erythrophyl group, which, ac- 
cording to circutnstances, may give rise to lighter or darker 
browns, approaching to black or to reds. Healthy unchanged 
leaves also contain various substances belonging to the chrys- 
otannic group ; but in many cases, when these belong to the 
more typical kinds of tannic acid, their.color is so faint that- 
they have little or no influence on the general appearance of 
the leaves. 

On the approach of autumn^ before the leaves have with- 
ered, the foliage of different plants presents an exceedingly 
variable mixture of chlorophyl, xanthophyl, and erythrophyl, 
with the different members of the chrysotannin group, and it 
is to the changes which occur in some or all of these sub- 
stances that the very variable tints of autumn are due. The 
most striking of these depend on the alteration of the chlo- 
rophyl. So \png as it remains green the production of the 
bright reds and yellows is impossible; but when it disap- 
pears, the yellow color of the xanthophyl is made apparent, 
and if much erythrophyl be present or contemporaneously 


developed, its color, combined with this yellow, gives rise to 
scarlet or red. In many cases, however, the chlorophyl does 

* not disappear, but is changed into the dark olive modifica- 
tion, easily prepared artificially by the action of acids on the 
more green shades ; and when this is present, only dull and 

' unattractive tints can be produced. We may thus easily un- 
derstand why thfe special tints of early autumn are yellows 
and reds, or dull and dark greens. In. these changes the va^ 
rious pale-yellow substances of the chrysotannin group re- 
main comparatively unaltered, and even sometimes increase 
in quantity, but they soon pass into the much darker red- 
browns of the phaiophyl group, while the erythrophyl fades, 
and thus later in the autumn the most striking tints are the 
brighter or the duller browns, characteristic of the different 
kinds of plants or trees. 

As far as we are able to judge from the various facts de- 
scribed above, we must look, according to Mr. Sorby, upon the 
more characteristic tints of the foliage of early spfing as evi- 
dence of the not yet matured vital powers of the plant. In 
summer the deeper and clearer greens are evidence of full 
vigor and high vitality, which not only resist, but also actu- 
ally overcomethe powerful affinity of oxygen. Later in the 
season the vital powers are diminished, and partial changes 
occur; but the affinity of the oxygen of the atmosphere' is 
nearly balanced by the weakened, though not destroyed vi- 
tality. At this stage the beautiful red and yellow tints are 
developed which produce so fine an effect in certain kind^ of 
scenery. Then comes more complete death, when the affinity 
x>f oxygen acts without any opposition, and the various brown 
tints of later autumn make their appearance, due to changes 
which we can imitate in our experiments with dead com- 
pounds. — 12 Ay August 31, 342. 


Among other vegetable productions of India is a species 
of 8t9ychno6y known there as the clearing nut, the dried seeds 
of which are used to a considerable extent for the purpose of 
clearing muddy water. For this purpose one of the nuts is 
' usually rubbed hard for a short time round the inside of the 
earthen pot j the water afterward is poured into it and left to 
B^tle, the impurities soon subsiding, and the water being left 


pure, clear, and wholesome. It is said the natives never drink 
well-water if they can get pond or river water, which they 
treat in tfie way indicated. These seeds have much the ac- 
tion of alum, but are believed to be less injurious, and are very 
easily obtained any where in India. The fruit, when green, 
is made into preserves and eaten ; but when ripe, and given 
in powder, answers the purpose of an emetic, a dose being 
about half a tea-spoonful. According to Dr. Pereira, the pe- 
culiar property of these seeds depends on the presence of al- 
bumen and caseine, which act as purifying agents, like those 
employed for wine or beer. If the seeds be sliced and di- 
gested in water, a thick mucilaginous liquid is obtained, which, 
when boiled, yields a coagulum. A similar application is 
made elsewhere of other kinds of seeds. Thus the inhabit- 
ants of Cairo render the muddy water of the Nile quite clear 
by rubbing bitter almonds, prepared in a particular manner, 
on the inside of the earthen jar in which the water is kept. 
— .14^,e7wfy,187l,43. 


In the monthly report of the Department of Agriculture 
for March and April of the present year we find a valuable . 
paper upon the cultivation of the cinchona in Jamaica, by Dr. 
C. C. Parry, the botanist of the Department, who accompanied 
the San Domingo investigating committee, and in returning 
spent some time in Jamaica. As the general result of his in- 
quiries in regard to the cultivation of this plant, and the pos- 
sibility of introducing it into any portion of the United States, 
he states, first, that the peculiar conditions of soil and climate, 
suitable for the growth of the best varieties of cinchona plants 
can not be found within the present limits of the United States, 
where no suitable elevations possessing an equable, mois^, cool 
climate, free from frost, can be met with ; second, that the isl- 
and of San Domingo, located within the tropics, and traversed 
by extensive mountain ranges attaining elevations of over six 
thousand feet above the sea, presents a larger scope of coun- 
try especially adapted to the growth of cinchonas than any 
other insular region in the western hemisphere; third, that 
the existence of successful cinchona plantations in Jamaica, 
within two days' sail from San Domingo, would afford the 
material for stocking new plantations in the latter island at 


the least possible expense of time and lahor.— Monthly Hep. 
Dep» AgriciUturej Aprils 1871. 


A valuable paper by Dr. Ascherson has recently appeared 
in TeteTmsLun^s'" MUtheUungen upon the geographical distri- 
bution of what he calls the sea-grasses, or the phanerogamous 
sea-plants, as distinct from the sea-mosses, or algae. From 
thi^ essay we learn that on the Atlantic coast of the United 
States we have of this group only the Zostera marina^ or the 
•well-known eel-grass, which is found so abundantly in shal- 
low bays and elsewhere, and which, while a great impedi- 
ment to boating, serves as the harbor and home of our young 
fish and marine invertebrates. Some other genera and spe- 
cies occur on the western coast of North America, and others 
again in the West Indies. — 17 (7, July, 1871, 7. 


According to Carl Fritsch, the lines of simultaneous flow- 
ering of plants lie from five to ten degrees farther south in 
North America than in Europe, elevation above the sea level 
seeming to have comparatively little influence. — 12 -4, April 


I it 


Dr. Kessler claims to have discovered lately in Cassel the 
oldest herbarium known, some of the plants having been pre- 
pared in 1556. It contains 614 plants, properly fastened down 
and labeled, and was formed by Caspar Katzenberger. — 1 (7, 
•I., 1871, 16. 


Much success seems .to have been experienced in the in- 
trodfiction of several species of Eucalyptus from Australia 
into various parts of Europe and California, and it is prob; 
able that in this plant we may have a very important addi- 
tion to our material resources. Its great merit consists pri- 
marily in its adaptability to regions otherwise unsuitable for 
the growth of forest vegetation, in the extreme rapidity of 
its growth, and in the great value of the wood for econom- 
ical purposes. When planted in marshy land, it has a very 


decided effect in draining the soil, and freeing it from a ma? 
larious tendency, while it is said to thrive where the annual 
rain-fall is scarcely sufficient to keep ordinary trees in proper 

In one case, a specimen raised in Algiers had attained, at 
the end of eight years, an elevation of nearly thirty-five feet, 
and a circumference of five feet at a distance of three feet 
from the ground. In Australia it reaches enormous dimen- 
sions, equaling, if not exceeding in height, though not in cir- 
cumference, the far-famed giant trees of Galilbmia. 

As is well-known, trees having this rapid growth are gen- 
erally soft and spongy, and of comparatively little value for 
timber ; but the Eucalyptus is quite the reverse, the wood 
being very heavy and hard, resisting the action of air and 
water, as well as of most kinds of insects. In general prop- 
erties it resembles the wood of the oak, and it is employed 
very largely for ship -timber in Australia. The growing 
plants disseminate an ardmatic fragrance, which is supposed 
to be conducive to health. This is due to the volatile essen- 
tial oil, which can be readily collected, and is known as euca- 
lyptol. The leaves furnish two and one ialf per cent of their 
weight of this substance, which has come into use already as 
a solvent of resins, and even of caoutchouc ; and it i& warmly 
recommended for the manufacture of varnish. It is also val- 
uable as a febnfuge ; and on this account, in Spain and the 
south of France, it has been made to replace quinine with 
decided advantage. — Svll Soc. d^Encouragementj etc.j Pcens, 


Bauer found small crystals on confervsB in a fresh-water 
pond, which, on farther examination, he discovered to consist 
of a hydrate of the carbonate of lim^, containing five mole- 
cules of water, precisely similar to those first discovered by 
Pelou'ze in a solution of lime in sugar, and subsequently de- 
tected in a well*tube. This hydrate is distinguished by the 
peculiarity of losing its water a( a temperature higher than 
59° F., even when under water. 





A writer in an English journal suggests the use of ordinary 
sulphuric acid, or oil of vitriol, as an excellent agent for the 
destruction of weeds on lawns. The^ difficulty of eradicating 
such unsightly elements of the lawn is well understood, since 
to do so satisfactorily requires the removal of a large amount 
of dirt, producing a corresponding injury to the general ap- 
pearance. By taking the acid in question, and allowing a few 
drops to fall into the crown of any obnoxious weeds, it will 
turn them brown in an instant, and ultimately cause the 
death of the plant. Great care must of course be taken to 
prevent any of the acid from falling upon the skin or any ar- 
ticle of clothing ; but, with ordinary care, a large amount of 
surface can be treated in a short time with most excellent 
results. — 2 A^ May 14^ 1870, 352. 


A German agricultural journal observes that farmers usu- 
ally pay very little attention to the length oif the furrows to 
be.piowed in a field, and yet great waste of time and labor is 
the necessary consequence of unsuitable arrangements in this 
respect. The turning of the plow and the commencing of a 
new furrow requires more exertion in the plowman and the 
team than continued work on a straight lin^; and how great 
may really be the loss of time from frequent interruptions in 
short turns may be shown by the following calculation. In 
a field 225 feet long, five and a half hours out of ten are used 
in redirecting the plow ; with a length of 575 feet, four hours 
are sufficient for the purpose;. and when the plow can pro- 
ceed without interruption for 800 feet, only one and a half 
hours of the daily working time are consumed. Hence the 
iTile to make the furrows as long as circumstances will ad- 
mit. — 10 (7, May^ 52. 




A new horse-shoe introduced in Paris by M. Charlier has 
been favorably received. It consists of a narrow rim of iron, 
thoroughly protecting the edge of the hoof without eramp- 
ing its sole in the least. The material to be used must be of 
the best quality, but the weight being considerably less, the 
cost is not increased. Thousands of horses of the many pub- 
lic conveyances in Paris have been provided with these shoes, 
and they give general satisfaction. — 10 (7, Jfay, 58. 


The choking up of clay drain-pipes, especially when used 
to carry water containing iron in solution (from which the 
oxide of iron is precipitated), has frequently caused great 
difficulty in keeping up a proper drainage ; and, in view of 
this fact, the propriety of adopting the old method of using 
fascines, or bundles of wicker-work, has been urgently rec- 
ommended. For this purpose, a coarse wicker-work, made 
of alder or willow, is to be loosely plaited together into a 
tube of about ten inches in diameter^ braced by cross-pieces 
at intervals of two feet. A number of these are to be united 
into a continuous tube, and laid in the ditches prepared for 
their reception. Sod is then to be laid on the top, with the 
grass-side down, and the trench filled with earth. In this 
way a very cheap system of drainage is obtained, which will 
remain for a long time without filling up, while earthen-ware 
tubes do not answer their purpose for more than six or eight 
years. The use of the wicker-work has. the additional ad- 
vantage of allo\^ing the air to penetrate up\^ard through the 
soil, thereby increasing its productive properties — 2 A^JFkb- 
ruary 1, 1871,24. 


A remarkable feature attendant upon the late French-Ger- 
man war is said to have consisted in the destruction of vege- 
tation in the vicinity of the great battle-fields, this being not 
simply the result of mechanical injuries, but of some more 
potent agency, and, according to one writer, the result of the 
enonnous mass o^ powder burned during the battles. As 
soon as the powder is exploded sulphuric acid is distributed 


througb the atmosphere, and driven forward by the winds 
until it is carried by rains down into the soil, where it de- 
stroys vegetation, thei effect being quite similar to that of 
the same gases . as thrown out of manufacturing establish- 
ments. As, dtti'ing the war, many thousand tons of powder 
were burned,! it would be quite easy to understand that an 
immense number of cubic feet of sulphuric acid must have 
beenr thrown off into the atmosphere.-f 10 (7, Augtcst 1, 104. 


Accarding to Dr, Hartig, March and April are the most 
favorable months for cutting timber intended to be used by 
builders and carpenters, the average per cent, of moisture be- 
ing less than forty-sev^ii; while in the three following months 
the average is fca'ty.-eight, and in the three winter months 
fifty-one. He states that properly-seasoned timber contains 
from twenty^tS twenty-five per pent, of water, and never less 
than about t6n per Cent. ; and if the moisture is entirely re- 
moved by £irtifioial means, the wood loses its elasticity and 
flexibility, and becomes brittle. Any artificial sefispning of 
wppd.shpuld be ^ar^ied on yery gradually, the temperature 
at the beginning being low, and the process not conducted 
too far. — 8 Ay January ^ 1871, 12. 


A writer in an English journal informs us that sii^U pieces 
of non-resinous wood can be seasoned perfectly by boiling 
four oi* ^VQ hours, the process taking the sap out of the wood, 
which shrinks nearly ose tenth in the operation. The same 
writer states that trees felled in ffill leaf, in June or July, and 
allowed to. lie until every leaf has fallen, will then be dry, as 
the leaves will not drop of themselves until they have drawn 
up and exhausted all the sap of the tree. dThe time required 
is from a month to six weeks, according to the dryness or 
wetness of the weather. The floor of a mill laid with poplar so 
tr^^ted, and cut up and put in place in less than a month after 
the leaves fell, has never shown the slightest shrinkage. — 
18 Ay February 3, 471. 


It is well known that in France the beet is cultivated on a 
large scale mainly for the preparation of beet sugar, and that 
the leaves are used very largely as food for cattle. A diffi- 
culty has hitherto existed in reference to this latter applica- 
tion, on account of the readiness with which the leaves be- 
come decomposed, and the impossibility of keeping them 
fresh for any considerable length of time. We are now in- 
formed that this has been overcome by M. Mehay, who sub- 
jects the leaves to the action of dilute hydrochloric acid, by 
means of which, after undergoing a special treatment, they 
can be stacked away in large quantities and kept indefinitely 
for future use. The application of the acid employed, so far 
from injuring these leaves as food, seems to impart to them 
special alimentary peculiarities, seen in the production of an 
improved quality of butter. Several veterinary surgeons 
have certified, as the result of a critical examination of the 
experiments, that the food gave rise to no disturbance of the 
digestive system, and that in every respect the new prepa- 
ration was to be considered a success. — 3 B^ August 8,1870, 


A confidential circular from an enterprising German in 
Hamburg has lately come to light containing an offer to sell 
several tons of sand suitable for mixture with clover-seed, 
the grains of which resemble the seed so closely that it is al- 
most impossible to distinguish them by the eye. The writer 
of this circular announces that this sand is in great demand, 
especially in England, for purposes of adulteration. Two col- 
ors are supplied, one for red clover and one for white. — 10 (7, 
June 1, 70. • 


Attention is called by the editor of the eTbwmcrf of Applied 
Science to the great value of the sunflower plant in various 
economical applications. According to tliis article, the sun- 
flower can be cultivated very feadily, an acre of land sustain- 
ing 25,000 plants at twelve inches distance from each other. 
The flowers are very attractive to bees and furnish a great 


amount of honey. The average production of seeds may be 
estimated at fifty bushels to the acre, yielding fifty gallons 
of oil. ^his is said to be equal to olive-oil for table use, and 
is well adapted to burning in lamps, soap-making, and paint- 
ing. The refuse of the above quantity of seed will produce 
1600 pounds of oil-cake,' and the stalks may be either burnt 
to furnish potash, or, when treated like flax, may be made to 
yield a fibre as soft as silk, and in large quantity. — 17 A^ 
1871, cTwwe 1,83. 


The rapidly increasing production of the ground or pea 
nut {Arachia hypogced) is adding an important feature to the 
agricultural resources of the United States, which appeal's to 
be especially adapted to its cultivation. In addition to the 
uses to which it is applied by us, it is said that a large pro- 
portion of the so-called olive-oil in the market, and used es- 
pecially in the arts, is obtained from the ground-nut. In 
China the same oil is used both for food and for purposes of 
illumination, the refuse cake remaining after the abstraction 
of the oil furnishing a good manure. — 19 A^ February 18, 123. 


The commercial value of madder, so extensively used in 
dyeing, has of course led to its cultivation on a large scale in 
various parts of the world, and we find in a late number of 
the Chemical News the details of some experiments of this 
nature made in England. The results, however, are stated 
to have been quite unsatisfactory, since, although the roots 
were about equal in size to fine French roots, on breaking 
them they proved to be orange or yellow instead of a deep 
red color. The dyeing properties were also very disappoint- 
ing, as the colors looked full out of the dye, but on being 
cleared with soap they were found to be loose and to resem- 
ble Dutch madder, the reds and pinks being weak and loose, 
and the purpk element entirely wanting. Although this 
experiment was not decisive, ye€ Mr. Sidebotham, who had 
conducted it, is inclined to think that madder of a good col- 
or can not be grown in England. — 1 A^ 1871, March 24, 136. 



California, which is apt to take the lead in matteVs of in* 
duBtrial and agricultural import, is now interested in extend- 
ing the cultivation of the ramie, all the roots of the plant 
that could be procured having been bought up by a company, 
and planted, to the number of a quarter of a million, on a 
farm in Alameda County. The principal desideratum is. a 
machine for properly dressing the fibre ; and it wilLbe re- 
membered that the India government offered a large prize 
for the best arrangement for this purpose. No award has, 
however, yet been made, the period of comipetitlon having 
been extended an additional year. It is said that the ma* 
chine of Le Franc is used in Louisiana with entire success, 
500 pounds per day being prepared from the green stalk at 
a very small expense. — CaL Set, Ih'esa, March 25. 


A careful analysis has been made by Dr. Schoras of the 
ash resulting from the burning of potatoes, this amounting 
to from three to four per cent, of Ihe dried potato. Accord- 
ing to thiis chemist, the proportion of potash amounts to over 
fifty per cent., forty-five per cent, being the smallest quantity 
observed. Of soda there i^ generally from two to three per 
cent., in most cases only one per cent, being appreciable. 
Next to the potash, magnesia enters as the principal constit- 
uent among the bases, nevertheless amounting to only the 
tenth part of the proportion of potash. Lime is a subordinate 
element, in most cases scarcely equaling half the amount of 
magnesia. The percentage of potash was found to increase 
or diminish as the yield of the crop was greater or less, but 
of the other bases little difference was found in this a*espeot. 
It was also observed that the percentage of phosphoric acid 
increased as that of potash diminished, so that in the abun-* 
dant harvests it is proportionally less than in the scanty ones^ 
varying from ten to nearly eighteen per cent^ The propor- 
tion of sulphuric acid is tolerably constant, varying from five 
to six per cent. The percentage of chlorine varied Very 
much, namely, from two to nearly eight per jeent. The quan- 
titative difference in the percentage of chlorine in the ashes 
was found throughout to have a direct relationship to the 


amount of the crop itscl£ Should 4his inference, which the 
author now presents as provisional only, be substantiated by 
the further experiments he proposes tp make, it may be con- 
sidered that the combinations of chlorine have the same 
significance in the cultivation of the potato that gypsuni 
has to various other cultivated plants. — 22 (7, November^ 
1870,293. . --. 

-Ml* * 


In Germany, where potatoes are so much cheaper than 
grain, the experiment has been repeatedly tried of feeding 
horses upon them, at least iii part, and this, as we understand, 
has proved quite successfuL In one instance five four-horse 
teams were kept hard at work and in good conxlition on a 
daily ration, for the twenty horses, of 1^ cwt. of hay, 8 bush- 
els of potatoes, 50 pounds of meal, and a liberal allowance of 
cbopped straw. The potatoes were steamed, mashed, and 
mixed with the meal while hot,- and then covered up and al- 
lowed to remain for a time, during which they undergo a 
slight fermentation and evolve a quantity of carbonic acid. 
The chopped straw was worked in just before feeding. This 
trial was continued for more than four months, and found to 
agree with the horses, while at the «ame time it proved satis- 
factory in point of economy. As this food must be sweet 
and clean, great care is necessary to prevent the vessels in 
which it is kept from becoming sour. — 9 (7, 1871, 19. 


In cases where the potato crop is so large as not to b^ 
readily marketable, and more or less in danger of decaying 
through the winter, the surplus can be so ireated as to fur- 
nish a valuable article of food, capable of preservation for a 
long time. For this purpose the potatoes are to be washed 
clean, steamed, peeled while still hot, and finally pressed 
through a fine sieve. The potatoes thus compressed are then 
to be laid, while still hot, upon gratings, and dried as quickly 
as possible, say in ten or twelve hours, in order to avoid any 
souring or putrefaction, this being generally the result of dry- 
ing too slowly or with an insufficient heat. The potatoes 
dried in this way are of an excellent flavor, and can be packed 
and kept for yeara in a dry place, and are serviceable for pro- 


visioning ships, armies in/ the field, etc. About 1000 pounds, 
of fresh potatoes will make 100 pounids of the dry article, 
which, when properly prepared, will have precisely the flavor 
and appeai*ance of freshly-boiled potatoes. — 6 C^ August 31, 


A potato known as the Giant Marmont is much praised by 
late German writers as occupying the very first rank among 
potatoes, in consequence of various excellent peculiarities. 
A single tuber was said to have produced a weight»of twen- 
ty pounds. — 10 Cy January 14, 11. 


German agricultuiists speak quite favorably of some of the 
new varieties of potatoes recently brought to their notice. 
Dr. Ranch says of the early rose potato that, among a thou- 
sand varieties, none can be found like it. It is the earliest, 
as well as the most prolific of all early potatoes, ripening 
within six weeks, and keeping well until the following spring, 
and even improving in taste by being thus kept. It is pro- 
nounced excellent for table use, very valuable for stock-feed- 
ing, and the richest in starch for manufacturing pui'poses. 
The bovinia, or stock-feeding potato, is of gigantic size and 
astonishing in its yield. Its quality is also quite satisfactory 
to the housekeeper. The new ash-leaved kidney potato — 
ashtop fluke — is a very fine table variety, quite early, keeps 
well, and has very few and shallow eyes. It is highly recom- 
mended as a garden vegetable.r-9 (7, 1871, 17. 


It is generally understood that the value of potatoes de- 
pends upon their specific gravity, and that the heavier the 
potato the greater the amount of nitrogenous matter it con- 
tains. This has suggested the idea of a convenient test by 
which the excellence of dififerent varieties can be readily de- 
termined, and which consists in the use of saline solutions of 
different degvees of strength. If, assuming one variety as a 
standard, we make a solution of such strength that the po- 
tato will float at about the middle of the mass, neither falling 
to the bottom nor rising to the surface, and apply the same 

'■■■.' <' 



test to other potatoes, we may conelade that if one fall to 
the bottom it is better, or if it rise to the top it is poorer, than 
the standard. A series of standards has been suggested, 
therefore, by Dr. Neslee, of definite percentages of salt and 
water, thus producing a sliding-scale applicable under any 
circumstances for the test in question. — 8 (7, July J 3, 221. 


The Prussian Agricultural Academy has been occupied 
since 1863 in making laborious investigations into the mode 
of propagation and possible prevention of the potato disease. 
A report of operations has recently been published, from 
which it appears that the following points, among others, 
may be considered as finally determined : First. A relation- 
ship and connection between the disease of the leaf and of 
the tuber, and the fact that the potato-fungus is the cause of 
the wet-rot of the potato. Second. The wintering of the my- 
celium of the fungus in the diseased tubers is considered well 
established and as needing no farther verification. The mode 
of dissemination of the disease, however, is considered as re- 
quiring additional investigation, including the development 
of the mycelium of t!fe infected tubers in the supei-ficial por- 
tion of the young plant, as well as the formation of the leaf 
fungus. The inquiry is suggested also whether the first 
traces of the leaf disease in the summer come from the my- 
celium of the infected seed-potatoes of the previous yean 
Experiments are also proposed for ascertaining whether, if 
the young plants are completely protected from the entrance 
of fungus-spores from the exterior, a diseased mother bulb 
would produce diseased plants. The effort to find some con- 
venient mode of disinfection of seed potatoes for the purpose 
of preventing the disease has not, so far, met with any satis- 
factory result. It is possible, of course, to destroy the myce- 
lium of the fungus in the tuber by various means, but this 
generally injures the bud at the same time and prevents its 

One very important feature accomplished by these inquiries 
is the ascertaining that different varieties of potatoes vary ex- 
tremely in their susceptibility to disease, some kinds being 
much easier of infection than others. It is suggested that 
the collateral inquiry be carried out for the determination of 



the best varieties of potatoes which enjoy a greater or less 
immunity from attack. What it is, in the plant or tuber, 
that causes this condition is not yet ascertained, and it is 
thought that possibly, when the cause is known, the more 
sensitive varieties may be so modified as to have an equal 
advantage. According to some, the difference consists in 
the degree of smoothness of the external skin of the potato, 
while others maintain that it depends upon the thickness of 
the skin.— 19 (7, 1871, July 15, 222. 


i)ead animals are utilized in France by immersing their 
soft parts in a very feeble solution of hydrochloric acid, 
which soon transforms them into an odorless pulp. This is 
to be mixed with phosphate of lime, and the result is a ma- 
nure of the best quality. — 9 G, February^ 1870, 14. 


An ingenious method proposed for utilizing the residue 
and offal of fish consists in first boiling it together with one 
tenth of its weight of cheap oil, heating it up from 250° to 
300° Fahrenheit. It is then treated with sulphide of carbon, 
whereby the oil naturally contained in the fish, as well as 
that which was added, is extracted, and a mass is left, quite 
dry, and containing from five to six per cent, of nitrogen, and 
from twelve to fifteen per cent, of phosphate of lime. — 1 A^ 
4/)r27 29,1870,202. 


Dr. George B. Wood, in a communication to the American 
Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, presented the result of 
certain experiments made by him upon the effect of salts of 
potassa when applied to grain and fruit-producing soils. In 
his view, the depreciation of the productiveness of apple, 
peach, and quince orchards is due to the exhaustion of potash 
from the soil. Several of such orchards, formerly very valu- 
able, but which had within a few years ceased to bear much 
fruit, on being treated with an application of wood ashes to 
the roots of the tree, became completely revived, producing 
full crops the following year. A still more striking effect 
was seen the second year, under a renewal of the application. 


He cited several other instances where the same results foU 
lowed; in one case where an apple orchard, planted on an 
old orchard's site, which had never borne fruit, was made to 
produce a good crop by the application of ashes. — Ft. Amer- 
ican Philosophical Society. 


A communication, illustrated by diagrams, was presented 
to the Horticultural Society of London in reference to the ef- 
fect of manures upon plants in the experimental grounds at 
Chiswick. As a general rule, plants in unmanured boxes 
were less vigorous than in those manured ; and while purely 
mineral manures had little effect upon the grasses, they pro- 
duced a marked improvement in the case of the clovers. Ex- 
periments with solutions of ammonia salts and with nitrate 
of soda showed specific differences in the results in the case 
of almost all the different species of plants, and it was found' 
that a plant affected favorably by one of these groups of 
salts was influenced in quite the opposite manner by the 
other.— 5 A^ 1870, 78. 


Professor Nobbe, of Tharand, has published the result of 
certain experiments made by liim upon potash as a nutrient 
of plants, the method adopted being one to which we have 
already referred, and known as the " water culture." The 
plants experimented upon were buckwheat and rye, although 
the conclusions arrived at had reference more particularly to 
the former. The solutions used were divided into those in 
which the potash was completely excluded, or in certain 
cases replaced by bodies of similar chemical properties, and 
into those in which potash is preset, but in different chem- 
ical combinations. The general conclusions reached were 
that, in solutions free from potash, otherwise nutrient, the 
plants vegetated as if in pure water. They were unable to 
assimilate, and exhibited no increase in weight, for the reason 
that without the co-operation of the potash in the chlorophyl 
grains no starch was developed. The chloride of potassium 
w^ found to be the most effective form of combination under 
which the potash could be offered to the buckwheat plants; 
next to this came the nitrate of potash. With sulphate or 



phosphate of potash, a disease was developed sooner or later, 
which, starting with a positive heaping up of the starch, end- 
ed in preventing the starch from being taken into the chloro- 
phyl grains, and rendered useful in vegetation. Soda and 
lithia were found incapable of replacing potash in a physio- 
logical point of view ; furthermore, while soda was found 
to be perfectly useless to the plant, lithia, when introduced, 
proved to be positively destructive to the vegetable tissues. 
— 19 C, August 5, 245. 


In the publications of the Acclimatization Society of Pa- 
lermo we are informed that radishes may be obtained at any 
season, and very quickly, in the following manner. The 
seeds are to be first soaked for twenty-four hours, and then 
placed in bags and exposed to the sun. They will begin to 
germinate in about twenty-four hours, and are then to be 
set in a box filled with well-manured earth, and moistened 
from time to time with lukewarm water. In five or six days 
the radishes will attain the size of a small onion. To grow 
radishes in winter, the box is to be placed in a warm cellar, 
covered with a top, and the earth moistened from day to day 
with lukewarm water. —79 (7, eTw/y, 53. 


Arsenic is said to be used in China for the purpose of pre- 
serving the young and tender roots of plants from the attacks 
of field-mice and other vermin, which application is said, in 
addition, to exercise a favorable influence upon the growth 
of the plant and its yield of fruit. — 3 -4, August 5, 93. 


Experiments have been recently instituted by the Agricul- 
tural College at Worms, Bavaria, for the purpose of ascer- 
taining the relative effect of several different manures upon 
the growth of grass. In presenting an account of the results 
obtained, we may state, for the more satisfactory understand- 
ing of the subject, that the " morgen" amounts to nearly three 
fifths of an acre. Muck increased the yield of hay, per morppen, 
by 7 cwt.,but deteriorated the quality of the grass. But this is 
believed to have resulted from the use of muck not sufficient- 


ly seasoned by exposure to atmospheric action. Human ex- 
crement gave an increase of 13 J cwt. per morgen, while the 
growth was very thick even in the poorest places. The cows, 
however, refused to eat the grass, although they appeared to 
have no objection to the hay. It was believed that the grass 
of the following season would be palatable to them. Liquid 
manure from stable drains and sinks had a powerful effect, 
and increased the crop of hay by 14^ cwt. per morgen. The 
grass was good, but the flowering herbs disappeared. Two 
cwt. of bone-dust, fermented in a compost of earth and liquid 
manure, increased the yield of hay, per morgen, 12 cwt., and 
developed an abundance of white and red clover, and its in- 
fluence, it was thought, would extend through several sea- 
sons. But the best effect as to the quality, though not the 
quantity of grass, was obtained by the application of potash 
salts. The grass was fine and tender, and almost free from 
the coaree herbs, with an increased yield of 11^ cwt. per mor- 
gen.— 10 (7, 1871, 27. 

— — — ^— \ 


A German agricultural paper recommends the application 
of a kind of sand compost upon mossy meadows as highly 
successful. Sand, or sandy soil, is piled up and daily watered 
with the liquid of stable drains or sinks. To prevent the es- 
cape of ammonia a sprinkling of gypsum is applied. This 
compost is to be worked over, and after four or five weeks it 
is fit for use. The writer claims that the heavy sand smoth- 
ers the moss, while the fertilizers promote the growth of 
grass, and he refers to his favorable results as proof. — 9 (7, 


It is said that a new manure is prepared in France from 
Indian corn, a substance now largely used in French distil- 
leries. The grain, previously coarsely broken, is first subject- 
ed to the action of dilute sulphuric acid, to convert its starch 
into sugar. After fermentation the refuse is placed in large 
tanks, and when all the' sq}id matters have subsided the 
clear liquid is drawn off, and the residue yields an excellent 
manure, containing about 9 per cent, of water, 68 per cent, 
of organic matters, including nearly 6 per cent, of nitrogen, 


and about 19 per cent, of mineral matter. — 13 A^May 14, 


The source of phosphatic manures, such as are found in the 
mineral form in various deposits, is a subject that has attract- 
ed much attention on the part of chemists and agriculturists. 
Of course, as regards guano, the phosphoric acid is readily 
referable to the excrement and offal of sea-fowi. Certain gua- 
no, such as Sombrerite, is derived from the action of water 
on this matter, and the subjacent calcareous coral rocks. It 
is thought that much of the palaeozoic phosphatic rocks may 
have been produced in this way ; at any rate, those which 
have been formed subsequent to the evolution of terrestrial 
and vertebrate animals. There are, however, many beds the 
origin of which can not be referred to any of the causes just 
mentioned. Professor Dyer, in an article on this subject in 
Nature^ suggests the same view that w?is presented at the 
late meeting of the American Association by Professor Kerr, 
namely, that the brachiopods may have supplied a large per- 
centage, the recent lAnguLa^ as is well known, having over 
eighty per cent, of phosphate of lime in the mineral ingredi- 
ent of its shell. In fact, he is of the opinion that the large 
quantities of phosphate of lime in the Laurentian and Siluri- 
an, as well as in the Devonian and carboniferous strata, are 
derived from this source. In the mesozoic and tertiary stra- 
ta, instead of finding the mineral phosphate in veins and beds, 
it occurs mostly in the form of nodules. Mr. Dyer coincides 
with the hypothesis previously presented by Mr, Lankester, 
based upon the property possessed by clay of detaching phos- 
phate of lime from its sohition in carbonated water. The 
nodules in question are believed to be bits of clay, which have 
been imbedded with great quantities of bones, as perhaps, 
also, with sea-weed, from which, by the intervention of gas- 
charged water, they have extracted the phosphate. Hence 
the almost invariable occurrence of beds of phosphatic nod- 
ules near argillaceous strata. 

This same view has been used to explain the origin of the 
phosphatic nodule beds which nave lately been detected in 
immense extent in the vicinity of the city of Charleston, 
forming a mineral fertilizer which is coming into very ex- 



tended use. Among other applications, this substance is 
ground up and mixed with prepared fish, and converted into 
an excellent manure for worn-out lands. — 12 A^ November 


The accumulation of sulphate of magnesia, or Epsom salts,. 
as a waste product at a mineral-water establishment in Ko- 
nigsberg, where it is offered for sale at about fifteen cents per 
hundred weight, has suggested its use for agricultural pur- 
poses, as its constituents enter largely into the composition 
of most vegetable substances. Magnesia, especially, is found 
in considerable quantity in the seeds of various cultivated 
plants, and especially in corn, etc. The experiment has al- 
ready been tried of applying the sulphate of magnesia to one 
part of the field, and. the sulphate of lime, or gypsum, to the 
other ; tmd, according to Professor Goltz, it is stated that in 
the case of clover especially, the difference was very marked 
in favor of the magnesia, although the general nature of its 
agency appears to be quite similar to that of the gypsum. 
Both seem particularly valuable in this connection, on ac- 
count of entering directly into the composition of the plant 
instead of requiring a certain transformation before being 
taken up. The sulphate of magnesia, as stated by Professor 
Goltz, has a perhaps still more important application in the 
stable, acting like gypsum in retarding the decomposition 
of the manure, and fixing the ammonia developed from it. 
The sulphate of magnesia, however, acts more quickly and 
energetically than gypsum, in consequence of being very sol- 
uble, in water; quite the contral'y being the case with gyp- 
sum. From the preceding considerations, therefore, it is in- 
ferred that sulphate of magnesia iij quite equal to gypsum as 
a fertilizer, and decidedly superior for use in stables. From 
one pound to one and a half pounds per day, per head, will 
suffice for the latter object, or from four to five hundred 
weight per annum. The cost in the vicinity of Konigsberg, 
being less than one half that of gypsum, is an important 
point in favor of the Epsom salt. — 9 (7, Sq>tember^ 67. 



Mr.Voelcker, an eminent agricultural chemist, delivered a 
lecture before the Chemical Society of London upon the pro- 
ductive power of soils in relation to the loss of plant-food by 
drainage, in which he took occasion to refer to the inutility, 
for most purposes, of the analysis of soils, as ordinarily con- 
ducted. He states that there are many apparently similar 
soils — ^that is, soils in which analysis shows like quantities of 
the same constituents — which differ widely in their produc- 
tive powers, owing to the fact that the indications are of ulti- 
mate composition instead of showing states of combination 
in which the ingredients exist in the soil. 

Another consideration of importance is that soil analyses 
throw no light upon the physical or mechanical conditions 
which affect the fertility of land. The productiveness of 
land is much influenced, too, by the character of the subsoil 
and its composition in relation to the surface-soil, of which a 
soil analysis conveys no information. Again, meteorological 
conditions, such as the aspect of the field, the prevailing wind, 
the amount of rain, and the distribution of the rain-fall in 
the year, are all of the utmost importance in farming, and 
are, of course, not indicated by any analysis. 

Dr. Voelcker, howiever, would not be considered as regard- 
ing such analyses as of no value, since in many cases quite 
the contrary is the fact. For instance, it is easy to deter- 
mine whether a soil is deficient in lime or not, and thus as- 
certain whether it is proper to impart a dressing of this min- 
eral. It is also known that potash salts may be applied with 
great advantage on some soils, while on others their fertil- 
izing effects are scarcely perceptible ; and the determination 
of the question whether tjiere be enough potash in the soil 
will enable us to decide upon the proper action in this re- 

Again, it is possible to ascertain, by finding whether there 
is potash in clay, as to its being benefited by burning ; burnt 
clay being an excellent fertilizer if the clay contains nnde- 
composed silicates of potash ; but the expense of this process 
would be entirely wasted if the clay be naturally poor in al- 
kaline silicates. Again, peaty soils are often completely bar- 
ren, this condition being due, in most cases, to the presence 



of sulphate of iron and finely divided iron pyrites, so small 
an amount as i per cent, of the former being quite sufficient 
to render a soil entirely unproductive. 

We can also ascertain by analysis whether a soil contains 
an excessive portion of one or more matters otherwise useful 
to vegetation, such as nitrate of potash, chloride of sodium, 
etc. It appears to be the fact that all soils which contain 
readily soluble salts, in quantities admitting of precise deter- 
mination, are more or less unproductive, although the salt 
may be a very effective fertilizer when applied in a weaker 
solution. Thus a soil containing -^ per cent., or even less, 
of common salt hardly grows any crop ; this being the case 
with land inundated by the sea. Such a proportion, indeed, 
of any substance is much greater than could at any time be 
applied with safety, while very minute quantities are fre- 
quently of the utmost efficiency ; for so small a quantity as 
fifty pounds of nitrate of soda, applied to an acre of grains- 
land, or to wheat or barley, and thoroughly washed into the 
soil, will produce a most marked effect in the darker green 
color and greater luxuriance of the herbage compared with 
the portion not so treated. One liundred pounds of ammo- 
nia applied to an acre of land, in the shape of sulphate or of 
chloride of ammonium, has been known to raise the average 
produce of wheat twenty bushels, with a corresponding in- 
crease of wheat straw ; and three hundred pounds of super- 
phosphate of lime, of good quality, has been found to increase 
the turnip crop in favorable seasons from six to ten tons per 

If a man wishes to make a living by farming, Dr. Voelcker 
thinks that at least from thi'ee to five times as much of all 
the more important fertilizers must be put annually upon the 
land as is removed from it in the crops, a depreciation in the 
crop resulting when a materially less amount is applied. — 
21 Ay London^ June^ 1871, 276. 

*'aIXIOS" of the plains of SOITTHBEN" FRANCE. 

It is known to some of our readers that certain sandy soils 
in the south of France, formerly perfectly barren and blown 
about by the winds, have been reclaimed, by planting with 
pines and firs, so as to become of much economical impor- 
tance. A curious alteration has, however, taken place in the 


soil, in the formation, at a depth of about three feet, of -.a 
stony layer, of a brown color and of a moderate thickness, 
called, locally, allios, and covering a bed of indefinite depth 
of sand similar ta that above it. The presence of organic 
matter in this allios seems to prove that it has been derived, 
in a measure at least, from the surface vegetation of the land. 
In winter and at the commencement of spring the level sur- 
face of the land is constantly covered, to. a greater or less 
extent, with rain-water. The action of the sun during the 
warm portion of the year reduces this by evaporation to, a 
depth of one or two yards in relation to the general level of 
the swamps and marshes bordering the interior of the chain 
of downs. A decomposition of the plants of the surface soil, 
by reason of their long immereion in the stagnant rain-water, 
takes place, and the products are carried by this filtering 
across the upper layer, to the average depth of about one 
yard. In doing this they appear to cement together, to a 
certain degree, the sand at this level ; and as the operation 
has been renewed civery year for a long period, a layer of aU 
lios, more or less compact, is. formed, which doubtless will 
continue to increase. One unfortunate result .of this imper- 
meable subsoil is the development of intermittent fever, which 
appears to prevail in this region ; and the only way to avoid 
it is to produce a drainage by digging ditches, and by sink- 
ing pits in the allios to the depth of about one yard, and 
breaking holes, in its crust, through which the water runs off 
very rapidly, leaving the surface perfectly dry. To prevent 
the terrrible conflagrations which would be likely to take 
place among these forests should they be kept as diy as pro- 
posed, it is suggested that it will be necessary to divide them 
lip into sections by lines of surface free from vegetation^ 
across which any forest fire would not be transmitted.— 3^^ 
Augmt 4, 632. 


Parties in California have for some years found it to their 
interest to engage in the production and exportation of silk- 
worms' eggs, for the purpose of supplying Italy and France 
with healthy worms, as, until quite recently at least, the 
worms hatched from Californian and Japanese eggs were less 
liable to the many diseases that had rendered the cultivation 

i i 


of native eggs in Europe so uncertain. It seems, however, 
that, owing to- the interruption of the silk -worm industry 
GMsed by the wai*, there is little demand for th6se eggS, and 
that dealers have a large stock on hand, for which, at pres- 
ent, they find no market. . There is said to be a similar sur* 
plus in Japan^ for the same reason. The California papers 
are therefore urging upon the citizens of the state to under- 
take the rearing of the worms themselves, and the produc- 
tion of Bilk.'^Scientific Press^ Calif omia^ March 25, 188. . 


A French agriculturist ; reports that, after trying every 
method known to him for the destruction of ants infesting 
some of his fruit-trees, he &ucceeded in effecting his purpose 
in the mosli complete manner by placing a mixture of arsenic 
and sweetened water in a saucer at the foot of the trees. 
For the larger species he made use of honi^y instead of sugar^ 
and he found that in a few days' time be ic6uld exterminate 
them conipletely. — 8 C, S^L 22, 1870, 804. 


It is said that the destructive larvas of the cock-chafer, 
■which, both in this country and in Europe, does so much dam- 
age to pastures by devouring the roots of grass and causing 
the death of the sod, may be exterminated by applying to the 
places affected water in which petiioleum has been stirred. 
The same treatment is also recoraraebded in other instances 
"where it is desirable to keep down the ravages of insects on 
plants. Applied in this way there is no danger. of injuring 
the plant, and a small quantity of petroleum appears to im- 
part its antagonistic qualities to a considerable amount of 
water.-^9 (7, June^ 1 870, 46. 


Some idea of the injury caused by insects to agricultural 
products, 9iay be formed from the statement that, from 74 
tons of Spanjieh wheat stored in a granary, 10 cwt. of beetles 
\¥ere screened out in one instance, and in another 35 cwt. 
were removed from 146 tons of American corn. The offender 
in both cases was a weevil known as Coldndraort/zc6.-^15 A^ 
April 9y 1810, 4:88^ 



It is well known that the European rabbit has been intro- 
duced into Australia, and by its enormously rapid multipli* 
cation bids fair to become a veritable pest to the country. 
Many remedies have been proposed for their extermination, 
among which the burning of sulphur in their burrows has 
been strongly recommended. An article by a Mr. Archer, on 
this subject, however, recounts the numerous experiments 
made for the purpose of their destruction by sulphur, and 
ends with the statement that this method is not at all satis- 
factory, and that carbonic ^cid would probably be more effi- 
cient. — 12 -4, March 2, 359. 


An effective method of preventing the devastation, by 
crows, of fields that have been recently planted with grain, 
is said to consist in stretching cords, longitudinally and 
transversely, upon stakes, about a foot above the earth, and 
about ten paces apart. — 8 (7, 1871, xxrv., 190. 


The kind and quality of food given to fowls must necessa- 
rily exercise an influence upon the quality of their eggs and 
flesh, although usually little attention is paid to the matter. 
A gentleman who kept a large poultry-yard found occasion- 
ally that the eggs of his hens had an unpleasant and rancid 
taste, and on inquiiy ascertained that this -was always the 
case when the food consisted of hemp or flax seed.— 8 C7, 1871, 
XVI., 137. 


Some interesting experiments have been made upon the 
comparative fecundity of ducks and hens* so as to determine 
from which of the two the larger number of eggs can be ob- 
tained in the same time. For this purpose three hens and 
three ducks were selected, all hatched in February, and nour- 
ished with suitable food. In the following autumn the ducks 
laid 226 eggs, while the hens laid none. In the next Febru- 
ary the laying season began again with the ducks and con- 
tinued. i?jjint€iiTuptedly till August They showed no incli- 


nation to set, but became very thin, although they afterward 
fattened up somewhat. The total number of eggs laid by the 
hens amounted to 257, or 86 eggs each; and 392, or 131 each 
for the ducks. Although the eggs of the ducks were rather 
smaller than those of the hens, yet they proved to be decid- 
edly superior in nutritive material, so that the superiority in 
productiveness appears to be decidedly with the ducks. — 13 
(7, AuffuetU, 1870, 1140. 


An inquiry is made of the German Poultry Journal wheth- 
er eggs brooded upon and allowed to become cold can be 
hatched ; in reply to which it is stated that, from extensive 
obiservation, it has been shown that eggs which have remain- 
ed cold for two days or more may even then be successfully 
brooded, and that the nearer to the period of the escape of 
the young, the longer may this cooling last. It is, however, 
necessary that at least half of the brooding period be passed, 
as, if eggs are left too long in the first half of the period, es- 
pecially if this is repeated many times, the embryo will, in 
almost every instance, die. In the second half of the period 
the chick is already so far formed that a prolonged cooling is 
not especially injurious to it. It is also established that eggs 
thus cooled require a longer time than usual to come to ma- 
turity. — 8 (7, February 2, 40. 


According to a good authority in poultry-raising, it is con- 
sidered inexpedient to encourage hens to lay while moulting. 
When new feathers are forming the ovary usually remains 
perfectly dormantf and, in fact, sometimes becomes greatly 
reduced in size. When, however, the feathers are renewed, 
if a hen be judiciously fed, and in good health, the produc- 
tion of ^ggs win soon recommence. — 2 A^ December 24, 1870, 


The Vienna Agricultural an^ Forest Journal states that 
hens fed in the winter with chopped and boiled nettle-leaves, 
or with the seeds, and kept in a warm, place, will continue to 
lay during the entire winter. The experiment was first sug- 


gested by noticing the eagerness with which both domestic 
and wild fowl devour the nettle-leaves and seeds whenever 
the opportunity is afforded. This proclivity is believed to 
be the reason why, with the enormous yield of seeds on the 
part of the nettle, comparatively so few plants spring. It is 
stated also that in Denmark the seeds and leaves of the net- 
tle are fed very carefully to horses, after haVinrg been'collect- 
ed, dried, and ground : three times a week, morning and even- 
ing, a handful of this nettle-dust is mixed with the oats, in 
consequence of which the horses are said to become fleshy 
and sleek, and their hair to grow unusually long, and to as- 
sunie a remarkably beautiful, silky lustre. — 8 C^ January y 


Dr.Lehmann has lately communicated to the Agricultural 
Association of Saxony theresults of some experiments of feed- 
ing unbroken grain to hogs, the animal -to which* the test was 
applied being a three-year old J)ig, of an English breed, which 
had previously been fed, for a year and three quarters, exclu- 
sively with rye bran. Four pounds of bran were given to it 
every twenty-four hours, and on each of the first two days of 
the experiment an addition was made of one pound; of the 
graiiis experimented upon, the rations being furnished in only 
a slightly moist condition. Thefirst of the undigested gmins 
were passed off at the lapse of from twenty-four to twenty- 
five hours, the last of them appealing at various intervals, as 
at the end of sixty-two hours for oats, seventy-two houre for 
barley, seventy-eight hours for rye, and the same for peas. 
In reference to the quantity of undigested and unaltered 
grains found in the excrement, it is staUed that in one hun- 
dred pounds there appeared unchanged and entire 60.6 of 
oats, 64.8 of barley, 49.8 of rye, and 49.4 of peas. From these 
results it will be seen that in general only fialf of tte entire 
grain is used in the process of digestion, and that every one 
who furnishes food in this manner has to supply twice as 
much as is actually necessary, at, of course, double the neces- 
sary cost. It is therefore "i^ry evident that a due regard to 
economy makes it expedient to reduce the food to a more or 
less fine condition before it is given to such animals.— ^8 (?, 
January ylS*I I, 



The practice of grinding or crushing hay and straw instead 
of the usual method of chopping it, as an article of food for 
domestic animals, is coming very much into favor. The di-- 
gestibility of these substances, as is well known, is much in- 
creased' by steaming arid softening with water, but a veiy 
marked improvement in the condition of cattle, it is said, is 
speedily observed in consequence of the adoption of the pro- 
cess referred to. It is maintained, also, that hoi'ses fed with 
ground hay are much less liable to suffer from attacks of colic 
than whfen the food is chopped, and that an appreciably 
smaller quantity will supply sufficient nutriment, less passing 
off in the forni of undigested fibre. The operation of grind- 
ing is effected by means of millstones, or any other conven- 
iently-adapted arrangement, a very soft article of food being 
produced, which is extremely acceptable to the cattle. — 22 C, 
November^ 1 870, 297. 


According to Professor Schmied, a permanent improve- 
ment of the breed of cattle is inseparably connected with the 
following proposition, namely, that calves must be nourished 
with a sufficient quantity of their mother's milk for a much 
longer period than has hitherto been the custom, all other 
methods having reference to this same object being insuffi- 
cient without a proper adherence to this fundamental consid- 
eration. — 22 (7, Nbvemier^ 1 870, 297. 


Observations in Prussia have shown that the eating of 
green flax by cattle may be seriously injurious. A wiell-kept 
cow suddenly became ill, with high fever and violent diar- 
rhoea, accompanied by trembling of the muscles, anxious look, 
drying up of the milk, and a lowering bf the temperature at 
the extremities. On inquiry into the cause of this sudden 
attack, it was found that the animal had eaten a great quan- 
tity of the weedings from a flax field. Strict diet, without 
any medicine, improved her condition during the day, but 
the next morning, epileptic convulsions ensuing, her owner 


had her killed, when, on examination, solid masses of the flax 
were found within the stomach. — 9 (7, 1871, in., 17. 



. From an examination of different kinds of milk with refer- 
ence to their solid constituents, it has been asceitained that 
asses' milk is most diluted, containing scarcely 9 per cent, of 
solid matter. Next comes human milk, with somewhat over 
11 per cent., while mares' milk contains 17 per cent. The av- 
erage is seen in the milk of the goat and of the cow. In i-ef- 
erence to the percentage of casein and albumen, human milk 
is poorest, containing only 4 per cent, of casein ; cows' milk 
nearly 6 per cent., with more than one half per cent, of albu- 
men. Again, goats' milk, with nearly 6 per cent, of casein 
and albumen, as far as known, has a larger amount of albumen 
than that of any other mammal. The smallest quantity of but- 
ter is found in asses' milk; that of the goat containing the 
largest, or nearly 7 per cent. Sheeps' milk is most nutntious, 
as it contains llj per cent, of protein matters and hydrocar- 
bons ; and while the milk of the cow contains only about 4 
per cent, of milk sugar, that of the mare has 8 per cent., which 
renders it very prone to alcoholic fermentation, and has giv- 
en rise to its employment by the Tartars in the production 
of an intoxicating liquor known as quass. — 17 -4, iSeptembery 


An important suggestion has been made by Mr. Lawes, of 
England, on the waste of food during respiration, and its re- 
lationship to the fattening of animals. He remarks that in 
the case of animals fed for the butcher, the economy of the 
feeding process will be the greater, the less the amount of 
food expended by respiration, in the production of a given 
amount of increase ; and it is equally obvious that one ready 
and efficient means of lessening the proportion of waste or 
expenditure to the increase of the products is to lessen, as far 
as possible, the time taken to produce it. In other words, to 
fatten as quickly as possible. Thus, from experiments made 
by him, he assures us that a pig weighing 100 pounds will, if 
supplied with as much barley meal as he can eat, consume 
600 pounds of it, and double his weight — that is, increase 


from 100 pounds to 200 pounds — in seventeen weeks. He 
then points out that if, instead of allowing the pig. to have as 
much barley meal as he will eat, the 500 pounds of meal had 
been made to last many more weeks, the result would have 
been that the animal would have appropriated a correspond- 
ingly larger proportion of the food for the purposes of respi- 
ration and perspiration, and a correspondingly less propor- 
tion in the production of increase. In other words, if the 600 
pounds of barley meal were distributed over a longer period 
of time, it would give less increase in live weight, and a lar- 
ger, proportion of it would be employed in the mere mainte- 
nance of the life of the animal. Indeed, if the period of con- 
sumption of the 500 pounds of meal be sufficiently extended, 
the result Avill be that no increase whatever will be produced, 
and that the whole of the food, excepting the portion ob- 
tained as manure, will be expended in sustaining the anitnaPs 
existence. — 16 A^ July^ 1870, 377. 

. • . THE MILK. 

A series of experiments prosecuted not long since in Ger- 
many led to the conclusion that, contrary to the usual im- 
pression on the subject, very considerable changes in the 
composition of food may be made without inducing corre- 
sponding changes in*the relative constituents of the milk of 
the cow, the only effect being in the amount of the concen- 
tration of the milk. To determine these results with accu- 
racy. Dr. Kuhn has repeated the. experiments, with the gen- 
eral result of showing that an increase in the albumen and 
fatty elements of a moderate diet produces an increase in the 
milky yield, which gradually rises (along with bodily condi- 
tion) to a certain maximum, corresponding in each case with 
the maximum increase of the above elements. Sooner or 
later, however, the natural diminution depending on the du- 
ration, of lactation occurs, and no increase can be produced 
by increasing the food. Diminution of the above elements 
of the food causes a diminution in the milk yield. The addi- 
tion of fat increases the ingredients of milk generally, and 
has no special influence on the amount of fat in the milk. 
The absolute production of the individual elements of the 
milk agrees generally with the relative production of the 



milk as a whole (most regularly in the case of sugar). The 
variations from this are different for the different ingredients. 
In the percentage numbers, sugar does not seem to be af- 
fected by the diet. The variations in the amount of albumen 
are so small as not to be capable of determination. No influ- 
ence on the amount of casein could be traced to the food. 
The influence of food on the amount of fat is seen to be very 
small. When it appeared to be altered it was after increase 
of the albuminoids of the food. Increase of the fatty ele- 
ments of the food did not specially affect the amount of but- 
ter; the variations in the percentage amount of casein and 
fat are to be attributed to irregularities in the fat production 
in the gland. The farmer must therefore not hope, by varia- 
tions in the food, to produce a " butter-cow" or a " cheese- 
cow." The differences in this respect are differences of stock 
and individuals. — 21 Ay JunCy lS71,i2i. 


Among the many'practical applications of water-glass, or 
the silicate of potash and soda, its use in the washing of wool is 
said to be not the least important. For this purpose one part 
of the water-glass is to be dissolved in forty of warm w;ater, 
and the wool placed in it for a minute, and stirred around a 
little with the hand. It is then to be taken out and rinsed in 
cold or lukewarm water, when it will b*e white and entirely 
free from smell. After this treatment the wool is said to re- 
main perfectly soft, and is not affected in the slightest degree, 
even if allowed to remain for several days in the solution, 
and then rinsed out with warm water. Wool may be washed 
very rapidly in this way, and in large quantity, by inclosing ^ 
it in baskets or nets, immersing it in the solution, and treat- 
ing it as above mentioned. Even the sheep can be rendered 
of snowy whiteness very quickly if immersed for a minute in 
a vessel containing the above solution at a temperature of 
100° to 120°, and then rinsed in pure water. In this case it 
may be necessary to take some precaution to prevent the in- 
troduction of the solution into the eye of the sheep, which 
may be done by fastening the legs securely to preveni 
gling, and, perhaps, enveloping the head for the time 

A similar use of the water-glass is recommended for the 




ordinary washing of clothes, the process consisting in laying 
the fabrics in a solution of one part of glass and twenty to 
thirty of water at a temperature of 100° to 160° Fahrenheit, 
and allowing them to stand several hoai-s, when they are to 
be stirred around with a stick, the bath having been pre- 
viously heated up by the addition of warm water. The 
clothes are then laid upon a board or over bars to drain, 
when the liquid coming from them will be found to coatain 
nearly all the dirt. After this, treatment in the ordinary 
way, with a very little soap, will quickly remove any remain- 
ing impurity. It is recommended to place the clothes a sec- 
ond time in a weak solution of water-glass — one part in fifty 
— and finally to rinse out with warm water. Clothes thus 
treated, it is said, become of a dazzling white, and do not 
need bleaching. — 9 (7, May^ v., 33. 


Dr. Hope, in a communication to the British Association, 
stated the result of ceitain experiments upon cattle with car- 
bolic acid during the rinderpest pestilence in 1867. Of about 
270 cows under his charge the majority were attacked by the 
disease, but by injecting, a solution of carbolic acid, either 
through the mouth or rectum, he was enabled to recover 111 
of them. The remainder, not so dealt with, died or had to be 
slaughtered. For this reason, he argued that the chemical 
treatment of contagion is much better than the medicinal, 
both in respect to man and adult animals. — 8 -4, October^ 
1870, 181. 


Tbe residuum of the flesh used in the establishments of 
Buenos Ayres for the purpose of preparing Liebig's extract 
of meat is now to be met with in commerce under the name 
of La Plata or Camo guano, and is recommended very highly 
as a manure. Analyeis shows that this contains nine parts 
in one hundred of water, forty-one of organic matter, nineteen 
of lime, magnesia, oxide of iron, etc., ten of phosphoric acid, 
from one half to one part of potash, and the rest of insoluble 
mattelr, such as sand, clay, etc. Th^ nitrogen amounts to 
nearly six per cetit. — 6 (7, Augmt 10, xxxil, 318. 


It is said that if trees felled in summer are immediately 
stripped of their bark, the timber thus obtained will be in no 
way inferior to that from trees which are cut down in winter. 


Mr. AUoway has lately delivered a lecture upon peat, be- 
fore the* Society of Arts of London, in which he points out the 
difficulties that have hitherto prevented the utilization of 
this substance as a fuel. He adverts to the expensive ap- 
paratus used by various persons for treating it, and especial- 
ly for condensing the peat by pressure, and states that it is 
impossible to do this satisfactorily by the ordinaiy means, 
owing to the peculiar spongy structure of peat and the diffi- 
culty of drying it. His method consists in first breaking up 
the freshly-cut clods with a mallet, by which they are disin- 
tegrated, after which they are to be placed in a ditch in the 
peat-bog filled with water, where they are to remain, forming 
a thick mush, until the time, comes for further treatment. 
](Carly in April the operation of making into bricks is com- 
menced, and a small quantity is taken up at a time and 
moulded rapidly by hand into pats, which are then laid upon 
slats and allowed to drain and dry, this being generally ac^ 
complished in the course of a few days. — 3 J5, September 14, 
525. . 


It has already been observed that plants grown on soil rich 
in silica and poor in humus contain less silica in their ash 
than those grown on soil poor in silica but rich in humus. 
Since an excess of silica is always present in soil, the amount 
taken up by a plant must clearly depend on other circum- 
stances than the quantity at its disposal. Th6nai*d has re- 
cently thrown light on the subject by showiifg that humic 
acid forms, with ammonia and silica, very permanent acid 
compounds. These compounds are soluble in very dilute 
alkali, from which solution they can be separated unchanged. 
They lose nitrogen only at a high temperature. Humic acid 
does not combine with silica unless ammonia be present. It 
appears probable from these considerations that humic acid 


plays an important part in the economy of plant -growth. 
When seeds germinate on wet blotting-paper, a brown zone, 
having the reactions of humus, forms at some distance from 
the seed. The author concludes that humus is produced in 
this case from a soluble colorless body by the action of the 
atmosphere. — 21 A, August, 1871, 748. 


Investigations have lately been prosecuted by Chabrier 
upon the presence and functions of nitrous acids in soils. 
The soils examined were finely powdered and passed through 
a sieve, and then bleached, according to the method adopted 
in the saltpetre works of Algiers, for the purpose of deter- 
mining the percentage of nitrous and nitric acids. As the 
result, it was ascertained that all tilled soils contained nitrous 
acid. N^itric acid, as is well known, is accumulated, especially 
in dry weather, in the superficial strata of the earth, the re- 
verse being the case with the nitrous acid. Hence it would 
seem that the soluble nitrates ascend in the soil by capillarity 
in dry weather, when they are transformed, at least in part, 
into nitrates, which, on the other hand, are washed out by 
the rain. .The water of the soil generally contains 1 part of 
nitrous acid to 25,000 parts of water; never more than 1 part 
in 5000. Fields which have lain fallow contain little nitrous 
acid but much nitric acid ; while, on the other hand, forest 
land contains moderate quantities of nitrous and but little 
nitric acid ; and inundated clay no nitrous and but little ni- 
tric acid. The author is of the opinion that the nitric acid, 
in spite of its slight percentage, is of importance in the earlier 
•periods of vegetation. 


From more than twenty years of experiment. Laws and 
Gilbert have ascertained that harvest plants do not by any 
means take up all the nitrogen which has been put into the 
soil in the form of manure, or of ammonia, or other concen- 
trated substances. Even if land be manured with the same 
amount of nitrogenous matters, and the same plants be culti- 
vated, not half of the nitrogen is abstracted from the manure. 
Of the remainder, a certain part is to be met with in the form 
of ammonia in the drainage water, and a considerably larger 





amount occurs therein as nitric acid, a large part of the ni- 
trogen being abstracted from the manure in this way. Of 
what is left, however, a very considerable portion is accumu- 
lated in the soil, and is carried into its deeper strata. 


An agricultural journal of Germany calls renewed attention 
to the great value, as a manure, of soap-boilers' leached ashes, 
which, as is well known, are prepared by mixing wood-ashes 
with' fresh-burat lime, and boiling or leaching the two togeth- 
er for the purpose of obtaining a caustic lya Although the 
soluble salts are removed from these ashes, the insoluble parts 
remain, namely, the carbonates, sulphates, and phosphates, 
principally lime salts, accompanied generally by a little caus- 
tic lime. Experience has shown that there is no substance 
equal to leached ashes of this kind for manure, not excepting 
even the richest guanos; the vegetation of the cereals becom- 
ing broader than common by its use, and the stalks more tu- 
bular, while the leaves grow of a dark bluish green. The 
value of this application is seen more particularly in mead- 
ows, where, curiously enough, nearly all the ordinary grass 
disappears in consequence,. and instead of it a thick vegeta- 
tion of red clover is met with, which will be renewed, year by 
year for a long time, without additional supply. — Cl, iii., 48. 


A Buenos Ayres journal congratulates the people of the 
Argentine Republic upon the discovery of guano in great 
quantity on certain sea islands belonging to that country, an 
entire cargo having lately arrived at the city. The discov- 
erer reports that the amount is very large, and dreams of 
rivalry with Peru in the possession of this valuable- commodi- 
ty are already freely indulged by the Argentines. — Panama 
Star and He/told. 


A Norwegian company offers for sale a fish guano from the 
LofToden Islands, prepared from the heads and backbones of 
the codfish, collected during the great winter fisheries off the 
Norwegian coast, principally by children and old and infirm 
persons who have no other means of subsistence. Formerly 

- I 


= TT^iS? "^ 


this matter w:as thrown into the sea as refuse, and materially 
affected the permanence and efficiency of the fisheries; but it 
is now carefully collected and hung in bundles on the rocks 
to dry. In June and Jiily it is brought to the mills, where it 
is cut into pieces, dried artificially, and then ground between 
mill-stones. This article, prepared quite differently from the 
fish guano of the United States, is put up in bags, and finds a 
constant demand at about $45 a ton. It contains a great va- 
riety of ingredients fitting it for an excellent manure. The 
same company furnish what they call fish flour, which is made 
from the best dried codfish by grinding them up, bones, skin, 
and all, to the fineness of sawdust or flour, in which form it is 
largely used in Scandinavia for various kinds of cookery. It 
is sometimes mixed with potatoes or other substances, and 
sometimes formed into cakes or biscuit. ,The fish is more 
readily packed and transported in this form than aiy other, 
and it is said to keep a long time without deterioration. We 
would commend this last preparation to the attention of our 
people, as furnishing a hint toward a new article of trade in 
this country, and one that could be conveniently' employed 
in cookery in a great variety of ways. — Circular ofj^orwegian 
Fish^ Guano Company, 


It is quite a common belief that butter can only be made 
from sour milk, and chemists explain this on the ground that 
acidity is necessary to destroy the membrane which envelops 
the butter molecules, so that they are set free to combine with 
each other after shaking. Mr. E. H. Baumhauer thinks he has 
disproved this theory by the following experiment : He first 
carried fi*esh milk to his laboratory without shaking or ex- 
posing it ; this he divided in four portions of half a gallon 
each, placing them in bottles of one gallon capacity. One he 
left neutral, viz., as it came from the cow ; one was acidulated 
with lactic acid ; one made slightly alkaline with carbonate 
of potash (this became acid during the manipulation); and 
the. fourth received a greater quant$ty of carbonate of potash, 
and remained alkaline throughout. The tempemture was 
about 70° Fahrenheit. These battles were shaken violently 
for one minute.b.y four men. When at rest wart-like grains 
adhered to tbe. glass, which, under the microscope, looked 



like drops of fat of oval but irregular shape, somewhat like 
mulberries. From minute to minute the shaking was inter- 
rupted ; the globules uniformly increased, and after eighteen 
minutes yellow butter was obtained in all the bottles, in lit- 
tle masses like peas. According to our author, the lactic acid 
could have had no influence in dissolving the membranes of 
the globules, and, in fact, he doubts the existence of such 
membranes. He thinks that shaking at the proper tempera^ 
ture combines the floating particles of butter; when the milk 
is too cold, no butter forms ; when too warm, a kind of emul- 
sion is obtained, which, at a low temperature, hardens, but is 
white and less translucent than good yellow butter. Mr. 
Baumhauer promises the best success in butter-making when- 
ever proper attention is given to the temperature of the milk, 
which ought to be between the narrow limits of 65° to 70° 



In the investigations upon the metamoi*phosis of albumi- 
nous substances in the bodies of ruminants by Stohmann, 
Frdhling, and Host, it has been shown, First, that the whole 
of the albuminoids undergoing decomposition in the organ- 
ism appear in the form of oxidation products in the solid and 
liquid excretions. These results were obtained with food not 
only poor, but also rich in nitrogen. Second, the metamor- 
phosis of albumen is dependent on the quantity of albumen 
in circulation in the organism. As a rule, the metamorpho- 
sis of albumen rises and falls with the albumen in the food. 
The increase of albuminous matters above a certain quanti- 
ty is a waste with adult animals. Third, the imbibition of 
large quantities of water increases the metamorphosis of ni- 
trogenous niatters. Fourth, the excretion of nitrogen quick- 
ly adapts itself to an increase of nitrogen in the food. Fifth, 
with an insufficiency of albumen in the food the body be- 
comes poorer in albumen. A goat which daily consumed in 
its food 8.27 grams of nitrogen exci*eted 11.1. The 2.53 
grams lost daily correspond to 74 grams of flesh. The weight 
of the animal sank, in the ten days of the experiment, from 
31.64 to 29.72 kilograms. Sixth, considerable increase of 
weight took place when, along with a sufficiency of albumen, 


larger quautities of non-nitrogenous substances were admin- 

These experiments showed that the metamorphosis of ni- 
trogenous nutritive materials takes place in the herbivora 
exactly according to the same law as Voit established for the 
carnivora ; and that relative to the metamorphosis of albu- 
minous matters there is no distinction between carnivorous 
and herbivorous animals, save that the nitrogenous products 
of decomposition assume a different form, so that in the her- 
bivora a portion of the nitrogen takes the form of hippuric 
acid, a substance whiqh is wanting in the carnivora. — 21 A^ 
August^ 1871, 728. 


Professor Trommer, of the Agricultural Academy in Eldena, 
in reference to the importance of the quality and chemical 
composition of the water used for washing the wool of sheep, 
whether before or after shearing, calls attention to the fact 
that the matter to be removed by washing is quite complex, 
and consists, in the main, of the non-volatile- portion of the 
sweat, the grease of the wool, abrasions of the epidermis, the 
dust from the surroundings, and the dirt from the excretions 
of the animal. It has an alkaline reaction from the preva- 
lence of potassium, either in the form of carbonate, or in its 
combination with grease as a kind of soap. Pure water readi- 
ly dissolves these potash compounds, and the resulting solu- 
tion id in itself a very good wash ; but when the water con- 
tains lime, a decomposition takes place, and insoluble com- 
pounds of lime (either carbonate or soap of lime) precipitate 
upon the wool and are removed with the greatest difficulty. 
Hence the necessity of avoiding calcareous water. Professor 
Trommer mentions an easy way to detect the presence of. 
lime, viz., a solution of soap in alcohol, when poured into a 
tumbler of water, will make it rapidly turbid whenever it 
contains salts of lime, while pure water remains clear for 
some time. When, however, necessity compels us to the use 
of hard water, the addition . of some alkali is recommended, 
which sh&ll precipitate the Jime in solution as an insoluble 
carbonate. Caustic soda is the cheapest for that purpose. 
The author enumerates some of the advantages arising from 
the washing of the wool after being shorn, remarking that 



the quantity of water necessary for the operation being so 
much less, its qualities can be corrected much more easily 
and with less expense, and its temperature made exactly 
suitable. Above all, the health of the animal will not be en- 
dangered, as is done by the old proceeding. The professor 
calculates that in the average six thousand and forty units 
of heat are consumed in the evaporation of the adhering wa- 
ter, which he thinks too heavy a tax on the animal economy. 


. Henneberg and others have been lately conducting^ a series 
of experiments upon the change of material in tli^ adult sKeep, 
under uniform feeding, the animals being two four to five year 
old wethers. These were fed- with as 'much: meadow-hay as 
was needed to keefx them in good condition in regard to nour- 
ishment,^ while each had ninety grains of common salt daily, ' 
and as much water as they wished. The experiments were 
conducted with the assistance of Pettenkofer's respiration ap- 
paratus. It was found that the excretion of carbonic acid by 
the animals during the daytime was different from that dur- 
ing the night, but that this was determined, not by the amount 
of light and darkness, but by the distribution of food during 
the two portions of the twenty-four hours. The feeding was 
generally followed very soon by the excretion of carbonic 
acid. The excretion of water by the skin followed much the 
same rules as that of the cai*bonic-acid excretion. • A paral- 
lelism was found between the excrfetion of the carbonic acid 
and of the water in twenty-fouf hours, both being greater or 
Jess as the consumption of nutriment or respiration material 
was greater or less. From this it would-appear that, to econ- 
omize food, it is necessary to protect animals from conditions 
which induce perspiration. 

A certain medium temperature of the stall m which the an- 
imal is fed will be the most economical, since, while the lesser 
heat involves the necessity of a greater amount of food, an 
increased temperature, on the other hand, produces an in- 
creased consumption of water, and, in consequence, ikhe in- 
creased transudation of water through the skin of the antk^al 
produces a loss of heat of the body by conduction and radia- 

The result showed that the food consumed was slightly 



greater than that required to keep the body, in statu quo along 
with a normal growth of wool, but not to an extent which 
had any real significance. The atmosphere contributed only 
one si:xth pait to the niaterial received, but, on the other hand, 
laid claim to nearly one half of the material exci^ted. More 
than one half of the organic substance of the food&U, direct- 
ly or indirectly, to the process of respiration, while the growth 
of new wool absorbed not one per cent, of it. About eight 
ninths of the residue were found in the faeces, and one ninth 
in the urine. 

The oxygen excreted in the form of carbonic acid was near* 
ly equal to that^ removed from the atmosphere, which is a 
general characteristic of herbivorous animals. The distribu* 
tion of various mineral constituents of food, on their reap- 
pearance in the faeces and urine, corresponds on the whole, 
though not exactly, with their' respective solubilities and dy- 
alitic relations. The two alkaline earths, lime and magnesia, 
appeared in relatively large proportions in the faeces — the lime 
f in greater proportion than the magnesia. Similarly with the 

two alkalies and the urine, the potash was recovered there- 
from in greater proportion than the soda. Of the phosphoric 
acid scarcely more than a trace was found in the urine.— ^ 
21 -4, August^ 1871, 729. 


A Strong desire to have Angora goats more generally in- 
troduced and acclimated in Australia has lately been excited 
in that country by the appearance at an exhibition in Syd- 
ney of a fiock of these valuable animals accompanied by their 
kids. Thesd goats are hardy and prolific, while their hair, be- 
ing used, in combination with silk, for the manufacture of the 
most costly fabrics, commands a high price. Owing to the 
ease with which they can be kept, the rearing of Angora goats 
would seem likely to render quite profitable the vast area of 
poor land in Australia. — 7 C, 1871, 187. 


ii^ I A maritime exposition has lately taken place at Naples, 

which was well attended by delegates from different nations, 
and many subjects of general importance were considered 
daring the session. The principal topics discussed were, 



fii*st, those relating to international maritime law ; second, in- 
ternational commerce ; third, mercantile manne ; and, fourth, 
fisheries, international and along shore. Under the latter 
head the following topics were suggested for present and far- 
ther consideration : 

1. Can the sea, or certain sections of its shore, positively 
lose in regard to the number of its diverse inhabitants on ac- 
count of particular methods of fishing? What are the proofs 
of any asserted diminution ? and might these signify any ofh- 
er result than real numeiical diminution ? If there be actual 
diminution, what measures should be t^ken — local, general, 
or international — to prevent such injury, and, on the contrary, 
to increase the production of marine creatures ? . 

2. How can a series of observations be organized which 
will tend to establish the fecundity of one or more species of 
fish, the number of individuals which reach matuiity, and the 
laws of individual growth, together with the seasons and lo- 
calities most opportune for. fishing ? 

3. How can there be instituted in the Mediterranean, in 
addition to the ordinary hydrographic researches, investi- 
gations in regard to the temperature, the saline saturation, of 
the water, the flora and fauna of its different beds, and the 
character of the bottom at all depths, from, the profoundest to 
the shallowest, following its coasts and its depending basins 
and bays? 

4. Is it necessary to provide for deep-sea fishing by an in- 
ternational code ? — Boston Daily Advertiser. 


In view of the great waste of labor and the concomitant 
expense in the present mode of conducting the herring and 
other great fishiBries of England, by means of row or sail 
boats, the experimejit has. lately been tried, with a very sat- 
isfactory result, of tending the nets by means of small steam- 
boats ; and it is likely. that before long all the establishments 
of this kind, of any magnitude, will be provided with auxil- 
iary steam-power. These boats are generally about thir- 
ty-seven feet long and nine broad, j;)eing well timbered and 
strong, and capable of standing a heavy sea. They carry five 
days' provisions, and will steam at the rate olT nine miles an 
hour. The cost of working, including the salary of the men 





and boys, fuel, depreciation of value, etc., is given at about 
three dollai*8 per day. . One single firm has supplied about 120 
of these boats within the last three years. They are, however, 
not considered serviceable in trawling, as the varying success 
does not admit of a sufficiently large profit for the payment 
of the excess of expenditure in the way of engines and fuel. 
—19 A^ August 6, 1871, 109. 


The report of the Fish Commissioners of the State of Con- 
necticut recently presented to the General Assembly is a 
document of much importance in the histoiy of pisciculture^ 
and embodies the results of the investigations and experiences 
for the past year. The history of what has been done in re- 
gard to the raising of-black bass, shad, and salmon contains 
many important announcements, especially in reference to * 
the.inci*ease of shad since the first experiments of artificial 
planting in the Connecticut River. In 1867 about 40,000,000 
shad were hatched under the direction of Mr. Seth Green, and "j 

placed in the river a short distance below Holyoke dam, and I 

their return as mature fish was awaited with great anxiety. ' -J 

About 60,000,000 w^re introduced into the same river in 
1868 ; but nothing was done in 1869, in order to see whether 
the first experiments were successful. In 1870, correspond- 
ing to three years' growth of the young shad of 1867, these 
fish appeared in numbers greater than had been known for 
twenty years, vessels sailing through Long Island Sound ob- 
serving immense shoals of them swimming through the wa- 
ter, all making toward Connecticut River. In one day over 
28,000 shad of good size were taken about Saybrook, and cor- 
responding numbers elsewhere. Although it is not absolute- 
ly certain that these shad were the same with those intro- 
duced in 1867, yet there is every reason to entertain such a 
belief— :this being corroborated by the fact that up to the 
date of the report (May 18) the fisheries of 1871 were even 
better than in 1870, many thousands being taken at a single 
haul, and the markets being glutted to such an extent that 
the finest shad, could be bought at from ten to twenty-five 
cents per pair. 

Experiments are also detailed in regard to the introduction ^x^, 

of the so-called land-locked salmon of the St. Croix River, as \^ 



well as of the true salmon ; and althongh fisheries of these 
species have not yet been established, this result is confident* 
ly expected in the course of a year or two. The report con* 
eludes by a lengthened statement of the present condition of 
the fish-pound question in the state, and commendation is ex- 
pressed of the existing act of the Assembly, by yrhich all fish- 
ing by means of fixed nets is to cease after the end of 1871. 
A compromise, by which the pounds were to be kept closed 
from Saturday night to Monday morning, was found to be en- 
tirely inoperative, the fishermen refusing to accede to the re- 
quirements of the law, leaving no alternative, in the opinion 
of the commissioners, but the prohibition above mentioned. — 
Fifth Re/poTt, 


Dr. Hartmann has lately made a communication to the 
German Fishery Society in I'egard to the age at which arti- 
ficially hatched fish, salmon especially, should be turned out, 
and where ; and he endeavors to show that very unscientific 
views have prevailed on this subject, which have resulted in 
serious loss to the stock. In his opinion about 30 per cent, 
of the eggs laid by the salmon are not impregnated at all, in 
consequence of not receiving a sufficient quantity of the milt 
of the male, and that 10 per cent, of the lay is destroyed by 
the male fish, leaving 60 per cent, of the whole. As these, 
however, are exposed to the ravages of small fish, crustaceans, 
birds, etc., as well as to the dangers from freezing, half are 
probably destroyed, leaving only 30 per cent, out of the orig- 
inal number (say 25j000) to keep up the supply. Supposing 
all these, however, to be hatched, we have then other dangers 
of equal moment. * Thus those remaining have for a number 
of weeks the yolk-bag attached, and are easily injured by the 
cuiTents or the sand at the bottom, and are greedily devour- 
ed by all sorts of aquatic animals ; so that our author thinks 
it is well if, especially in the case of salmon and trout, half a 
dozen are left alive by the- time they are able to swim about 
and take food for themselves. This is the natural state of 


things, where no artificial impregnation nor care is exercised. 
By proper management, however, eighty to eighty-five fish 
out of the hundred can be hatched. After the navel-bag is 
absorbed, the necessity arises of furnishing food in greater 



quantity tban would naturally be procurable in the immedi- 
ate vicinity of thq imprisoned fish.; but our author considers 
that all such preparations as chopped meat, clotted blood, 
etc., are objectionable for many reasons-^ampng others, on 
9;0count of the portion that is not consumed, which sinks to 
the bottom and remains in the water, rendering -it corrupt. 

Dr. Hartmann therefore recommends that if water-plants 
do not naturally grow in the neighborhood of the nurseries 
for the fish, they be immediately planted, since these attract 
and harbor immense numbers of minute insects and crusta- 
ceans ; and if this be not sufficient, recourae must be had to 
more distant points* By using fine gauze nets, and sweeping 
the; waters, a vast number of minutie a^nimals can be obtained, 
which are to be turned, .while still living, into the nurseries, 
where the young fish will be found to devour them with the 
greatest greediness. The rapidity of reproduction of some 
water-insects is such as to furnish a continuous supply to 
large numbers of young fish — ^the progeny of a single fresh- 
water crustacean being multiplied to an almost incredible 
extent. During the first fourteen days after birth the small 
water-insects referred to should be the sole food of the brood, 
as this is the critical period of the nursery. A sufficient sup- 
ply, according to our author, for 10,000 trout can be obtained 
in the course of one or two houre by pouring water with a 
dipper from one of these pools on to a bit of gauze stretched 
tightly at the four corners.* After this, coarser food can be 
used, especially the larvae of insects, which are readily ob- 
tained, including the musquito and other diptera. By col- 
lecting the eggs of frogs and toads, and placing them in 
pools, they will also furnish food, either directly or after their 
eggs have hatched out into tadpoles. 

It is also recommended to separate the larger of the young 
fish from the smaller, as the former are likely to appropriate 
more than their share of the finer food, thereby retarding the 
development of the rest. Alluding to the voracity of certain 
fish. Dr. Hartmann quotes the observations of Coste upon 
trout, of which four, each an inch, long, devoured 6000 em- 
bryos of perch in less than five days, or an average of 300 
apiece each day. 

la rejoinder to *the above views by Mr. Hartmann, Mr. 
Wengen takes exception to the feasibility of obtaining nat- 



. .■ 






ural food in the quantity needed in practical fisli culture, 
remarking that, as the young of the salmon especially are 
hatched out in the winter season, the necessary quantity of 
larvae and minute crustaceans can not be had. The only al- 
ternative remains, therefore, to furnish the young brood with 
artificial food, or else to turn them out into the stream on 
the absorption of the navel-bag. But Mr. Wengen found that 
grated calfs liver will answer every purpose, since but a few 
of the young fish perish before they get accustomed to this 
food, the larger number surviving and thriving upon it. In 
his opinion, however, if young fish are protected through the 
period of hatching, and until after the navel-bag has been 
absorbed, they may then be let out into the streams to take 
care of themselves, as by this time they have passed that pe- 
riod in their life when they are exposed to the greatest dan- 

The fertilization of the much larger proportion of eggs, 
which takes place in artificial impregnation, and the seclusion 
of the young, before the yolk-bag is absorbed, from their nat- 
ural enemies, will give the larger percentage of the laying a 
chance to develop and become mature fish ; although, of 
course, should the young be fed until they have materially 
increased in size, the proportion assured for the continuance' 
of the stock is still greater. — 2 A^Augmt 26, 1871, 128, etc. 


A valuable contribution to the science of animal culture, 
if we may use the term, is found in the report of a commission 
appointed in Ireland to inquire into the methods of oyster 
culture in the United Kingdom and France, with a view to 
the introduction of improved methods of cultivation. This 
appears to be by far the most complete and practical account 
of the subject that has yet been published, including, as it 
does, the investigations prosecuted under public and private 
auspices in the different countries of Europe. After a dis- 
cussion of the oyster fisheries of England, and giving a de- 
scription of the different ipethods and places of culture, it re- 
marks, in conclusion, that while not concurring in the opinion 
put forward by some as to the extraor(^inary profits to be 
realized from oyster cultivation, the commissioners believe 
that, if judiciously undertaken,. and prudently and persever- 


ingly carried oat, it is profitable, and that there is much to 
encourage an enterprise of the kind. It also states that Ire- 
land possesses external advantages for the culture, on account 
of the feeding process being attended with so little risk, and 
thinks that ten times the amount of oysters now actually 
gathered in Ireland could find a ready sale. A summary of 
the principal laws relating to oyster culture in different coun- 
tries of Europe, with tables of temperatures and other infor- 
mation, concludes the report, which is well illustrated with 
drawings of the oyster in its different stages of growth, and 
plans of the localities where the business of oyster raising is 


Most of our readers are aware of the outbi*eak of a new 
grape-vine disease in Europe produced by a kind of plant- 
louse, which, spreading from one region to another, threatens 
to almost paralyze the cultivation of that plant ; but the fact 
is probably not generally understood that the pest in question 
is a native of the United States, and has been transplanted to 
the Old World, with the result referred to. Mr. Riley, the 
State Entomologist . of Missouri, has lately published in the 
Hural New Yorker several articles on the subject, in which 
he discusses the history of this insect, showing that the fii'St 
reference to it was by Dr. Fitch, of New York, in 1856 (who 
called \t Pemphigus mV(/bfo*a), Mr. Riley himself writing about 
it in the Prairie Farmer in 1866, and succeeding articles also 
appealing by Mr. Shimer and Mr. Walsh. After this it at- 
tracted attention in the south of France, where its ravages 
became so great that the Minister of Agriculture offered a 
prize of $4000 for the discovery of a practical remedy. A 
special committee was nominated to investigate the whole 
subject, and the history of the insect has since that time be- 
come pretty well underetood. 

Referring to Mr. Riley's papers and other sources for the 
details in regard to the natural history of this pest, we may 
simply repeat the statement of this author, that it is to the 
presence of this insect in our soil that we owe the great diffi- 
culty in raising the European grape in America, as also some 
of the varieties of our own native species. It is found by ex- 
periment that certain kinds of vines are more liable to the 


attack of this grape-leaf gall-louse than others ; arid an im- 
portant application, according to Mr. Riley, may be made of 
this fact in regard to the selection of the proper kinds. The 
European vine, as is well known, thrives admirably in Cal- 
ifornia, where it is cultivated on a large scale ; but Mr. Riley 
thinks' this is due to its having escaped a visit from the in- 
sect, and not fi*om any natural immunity, and that, unless 
great care is taken, it will sooner or later find its way there. . 

In a second article in the Rural Nefto Yorker upon this in- 
sect, Mr. Riley sums up its history by stating that we have 
had in this country from time immemorial an aphis-like insect 
attacking our native vines, either forming galls on the leaves, 
or gall-like excrescences on the roots. This insect is poly- 
morphic, as many others of its family are known to be. It 
also exists in two types : the one, which may be termed ra- 
dicicola^ living on the roots ; while the other, which may be 
termed gaUcecokty dtrells in galls on the leaves. The latter 
is found more especially on the Clinton and its allies, while 
the former is found on all varieties, but flourishes best on 
vines belonging to the vinifera species. The gall-inhabiting 
type was noticed and imperfectly described in 1856 ; but the 
toot-inhabiting type, being less conspicuous, was unknown in 
this country till last year. 

Such an insect is very readily transported from one coun- 
try to another on grape-roots, seedlings, etc. ; and just as our 
apple-root louse {Mnosoma lanigera) was imported into Eu- 
rope toward the close of the last century, so we find that our 
grape-louse was similarly imported, in all probability, within 
the last decade. In conclusion, he remarks that there is no 
occasion for unnecessary alarm, and that the knowledge of 
the disease will surely in time bring to us the proper remedy. 
The JPhyUoxera has always existed on our vines, and those 
vaiieties which have always resisted its attacks will be likely 
to do so in the future. The presence of a few such lice upon 
a plant is a matter of comparatively little moment, as they 
are injurious only when developed in an inordinate quantity. 
— Rural New Yorker^ October^ 1871,251. 





The idea has been more or less prevalent that artificial ice 
is more readily jnelted than natural, and^ consequently, that 
thfe lvalues of equal weights of the two could not be com- 
pared, excepting the question of price be taken into the ac- 
count. We are informed, however, that the French Naviga- 
tion Company of the Messageries Impirialea^ wishing to test 
-this question in reference to the ice to be used on its vessels 
in. the Indian Ocean, have made experiments, taking one hun- 
dred kilogrammes of each kind, and exposing to the same 
tetnperatnre under similar conditions. The result is as fol- 
lows : 


Natural Swiss ice required for complete melting 107 

Natural Norway ice required 115 

Artificial ice of the Cair^ machine required 180 

Natural ice from Boston required 138 

Artificial ice of the Tellier machine required 144 

If these experiments were conducted with such precautions 
as to be reliable, it would seem that, after all, one form of ar- 
tificial ice lasted longer than any of natural origin.-^3 J?, 
Augtiat 4, 607. 


As might have been expected, ai*tificial ice machines have 
been extensively called into play for the manufacture of ice 
to-be used in* packing fish. In corroboration of previous 
statements, it is said to be far more durable than natural ice, 
the crystals being much more solid, and exhibiting less ten- 
dency to split into flakes. The estimate has been made that 
thirty per cent, less of artificial than of natural ice will secure 
the same preservative eflcct. One objection to some forms 
of artificial ice is said to be the opacity of its color ; but an 
inventor announces his discovery of a method by which per- 
fectly transparent ice can be obtained, and for its publication 


to the world he asks the modest sum of five hundred pounds 
sterling. — 17 A^ September^ 1870, 133. 


Of late years salmon have been quite abundant in our mar- 
kets throughout the winter season, a period when previously 
they were unknown, owing to the fact of their being then, 
with few exceptions, in the deep waters of the sea. For this 
purpose they are taken in the summer months, when the fish 
are in the rivers and in best, condition, and are packed in 
snow as soon as caught, and in that condition carried to the 
establishments where they are to be preserved. They are 
•first overhauled and sorted, and then put into a room where, 
by, means of a mixture of ice and salt placed between zinc 
plates, the temperature is kept many degrees below the freez- 
ing point. The fish are soon frozen, and can be kept in that 
state many months, and even years, provided the tempera- 
ture be kept steadily down to the proper degree. In the 
winter season, the salmon thus frozen are shipped, properly 
packed in ice, being carried in that condition all over the 
country. It is said that the taste of these fish, if cooked di- 
rectly after having been thawed, is fully equal to what it 
would be if eaten at the time of capture. — Rept. Canadian 
Dept. Marine^ 1870, 60. 


A new method of preserving meat in tin cans, which is fa- 
vorably commented upon, is that of Mr. R. Jones, of London. 
In this process the meat is first packed in its raw state into 
tins of any desired size. The lids are then soldered down, 
the top of each lid having a small tin tube in it, which com- 
municates with the interior of the tin. These tubes are next 
inserted into the exhauster, which is a receptacle connected 
with a machine designated a "Torricellian vacuum," an ap- 
paratus in which the air is exhausted by the action of water. 
The tins are then placed in the cooking-bath, and at the 
proper juncture the vacuum is created and the meat thor- 
oughly cooked, at a temperature varying from 180 to 228 
degrees. At this stage another feature of the invention 
comes into play. The vacuum having been created, a supply 
of gravy is turaed on from a receptacle, and the tins filled 


with nutritious fluid. The feed-pipes of the tins are then 
nipped and th6 cases hermetically sealed. By thus filling 
the tins with the gravy, the difficulty of collapse, which has 
always prevented large tins being hitherto used, is obviated, 
while the whole space of the package is utilized. Testimo- 
nials from captains of ships and others who have used it are 
furnished by the inventor, certifying to the excellent quality 
of the meat. By this improved process the great objection 
of overcooking the meat has been obviated, and as now pre- 
pared it would seem to merit general approval. — 17 -4, Oc- 
^^r, 1870, 151. 


It has frequently been remarked that the best inventions 
of the Western nations have, in nearly every instance, been 
anticipated by processes long since devised and in use by the 
Orientals, especially by the natives of China and Japan ; and 
we . are assured that the subject of prepared meat-extracts 
takes its place in this category. We are informed by a re- 
cent communication of Dr. Pott that the inhabitants of Java 
have for many years been in the habit of preparing flesh ex- 
tracts of various kinds, and especially of beef, fish, and crabs, 
and that in this form they enter very largely into the inter- 
nal commerce of the country. The preparation is known by 
the general name of petia^ while the particular substance, 
whether the flesh of one of three kinds of oxen, of fish, or of 
crabs, is indicated by a special affix. 

The preparation of the petis appears to be a very simple 
one, consisting merely in boiling the raw material and chop- 
ping it very fine, and then putting it in a press and forcing 
out all the juices. This juice is then boiled down at a mod- 
erate temperature to the consistency of sirup, and kqjt for 
use. As a general rule, the preparation is made of such 
pieces of meat of all the animals used as when brought to 
market are not sold before its close, a precaution rendered 
necessary by the heat of the country, and the impossibility 
of obtaining ice, by means of which to carry the food over 
until the next day. The substance from which th8 petis is 
expressed is also dried and introduced into commerce, but is 
generally used immediately, while the petis is distributed 
widely throughout the Indian Archipelago, and can be kept 


a long time. These preparations have an extremely saline 
taste, due almost entirely, however, to the concentration of 
the organic salts originally contained in the expressed j nice. 
The smell is said to be quite agreeable, and the taste very 
appetizing.— 8 C^Jidy 28, 1871,233. 


Professor Dammann has lately renewed, with great care, 
the inquiry as to the wholesomeness of flesh or milk of cattle 
that have been afflicted with the foot and mouth disease, and 
has come to the conclusion that the use of these substances 
can not be forbidden with sound reason. He states that the 
flesh is absolutely harmless, and its use should be allowed 
under any circumstances, taking care in every case that the 
slaughtering be done in one and the same place, in order that 
no new locality be unnecessarily tainted by the liquids re- 
sulting from the operation. 

In reference to using the milk, he states that, should any 
misgiving be felt, it may be converted into butter or cheese, 
in which case it is absolutely harmless. No reliable instances 
could be found, in the course of a long and careful inquiry, 
of any infection or disease having been communicated to 
mankind or the lower animals by eating the flesh of animals 
thus afflicted, or by drinking their milk. The author con- 
cludes by saying that it is eminently right and proper that 
legal and other precautions be taken against the propaga- 
tion of the disease in living animals, but that these measures 
should always be subordinated to the general principles which 
have now been fairly established. — 10 Cy February 1, 17. 


Notices have from time to time appeared in reference to 
a method devised by Pelouze for preserving meat unchanged 
for an indefinite period of time without the use of any chem- 
ical solution, and to his having deposited an account of it 
with the secretary of the Academy of Sciences in Paris. In 
a late number of the Moniteur Scientijtque the secret is an- 
nounced,*from which we see that it is not essentially different 
from processes already in use.* For the purpose in question, 
the meat is to be cut up into pieces of convenient size, and 
subjected to an atmosphere of carbonic oxide under pressure. 


After this a current of dry air is passed oyer the meat, so as 
to carry, off all the moisture, and this being accomplished, a 
solution either. of salt or saltpetre, or much. diluted carbolic 
acid, is to be brought into contact with it, and the mass then 
sealed up in a tight vessel. -^1^, April 21, 191. 


A substance called aaeptm hsiS been introduced into trade 
by a Swedish dealer as a preservative material for milk, meat, 
etc. This is said to be simply boraoic acid, or borax ; the 
double aseptin consisting of two parts of borax to one part 
of alum. Putrefaction is said to be prevented by the addi- 
tion of this preparation, but mouldiness in animal substances 
is not. Although a very short time has elapsed since asep- 
tin has been brought into notice, thousands of pounds are 
now sold almost daily in Scandinavia and Germany. — 6 (7, 
XXV., June 22, 248. 


A method adopted in Portugal for preserving fish consists 
in removing the viscera and sprinkling sugar over the inte- 
rior, keeping the fish in a horizontal position, sp that the sug- 
ar may penetrate as much as possible. It is said that fish 
prepared in this way can be kept completely fresh for a long 
time, the savor being as perfect as if recently caught. Sal- 
mon 'thus treated before salting and smoking possess a much 
more agreeable taste, a table-spoonful of sugar being suffi- 
cient for a five-pound fish. — 10 C',vii.,e7w^y, 1871,91. 


Dr. Baudet, in the Moniteur Scientifiqice^ communicates the 
result of some experiments made with a weak solution of 
carbolic acid in preserving meat. For this purpose he took 
four wide-mouthed stoppered bottles, and placed in each half 
a pound of raw horse-flesh, slightly moistened with solutions 
of carbolic acid varying in strength from five parts to one 
part in a thousand. In each bottle he put a few small pieces 
of charcoal for the purpose of absorbing any gaseous matter 
evolved from the meat. After keeping these bottles three 
months in a room constantly heated to a temperature of about 
10 degrees, he found, at the end of that time, that no decom- 


position had occurred, and that the flavor of the meat was 
fully preserved — to such an extent, indeed, that it was con- 
sidered- excellent by himself and his friends who partook of 
it. No taste was imparted to it by the acid different from 
that which attaches to ordinary smoked meat, and the ex- 
perimenter was of the opinion that this substance may be 
used with great advantage for the preservation of flesh on a 
large scale for a considerable period of time. He thinks, how- 
ever, that this should be kept in well-closed vessels, although 
it is not necessary, perhaps, that they be hermetically sealed. 
—1 A. March 31, 148. 


The Chemical News gives us from the German Manuals of 
Pharmacy the following receipt, by Reinsch, for making the 
soup tablets so much in use in the Gennan army during the 
late war. The formula is as follows : Take eleven parts by 
weight of good suet, melt it in an iron pan, and make it very 
hot, so as to become brown ; add, while keeping the fat stirred, 
eighteen parts of rye meal, and continue heating and stirring 
so as to make the mass brown ; add then four parts of dried 
salt and two parts of coarsely pulverized caraway seed. The 
mixture is then poured into tin pans somewhat like those used 
for making chocolate into cakes. The cakes have the appear- 
ance of chocolate, and are chiefly intended for the use of sol- 
diers while in the field. A quantity of about one ounce of 
this preparation is sufficient to yield, when boiled with some 
water, a ration of good soup; and in case of need, the cakes, 
being agreeable to the taste, may be eaten raw. — 1 -4, March 


According to the Scientific Review, a London firm, entitled 
the "Tapioca Beef Bouillon Company," manufactures a very 
palatable and nutritious compound which, by the mere addi- 
tion of water, is converted into soup. It is the invention of 
Mr. Geyelin, and consists of granulated Brazil tapioca satu- 
rated with Liebig's extract of beef, and thoroughly dried. 
Each canister contains the quantity necessary for a pint of 
good soup; and as five of these canisters are sold for a shil- 
ling sterling, this " tapioca beef bouillon" is obviously within 


the means of all. Having tasted both that which was un- 
seasoned and that seasoned with vegetables, the writer in the 
Review expresses his preference for the former, which, in his 
opinion, makes a soup fully equal to that supplied by many 
confectioners at six times the price. As a summer food for 
those who dislike semi-putrid meats, and can not afford to 
waste any thing, the new food is recommended as worthy of 
general use. It is stated that this bouillon was largely fur- 
nished to both the French and German armies and ambu- 
lances, and that it gave the greatest satisfaction both to the 
medical men and their patients. — 8 Ay May 1, 89. 


Among the precautions taken by an extensive milk com- 
pany .near London to insure the safe transportation of milk 
and cream by railway,* that to which the most importance is 
attached consists in the cooling of it to the temperature of 
50° to 59° Fahr. before filling the cans. Should the milk be 
placed in the cans at a higher temperature, as from 70° to 82% 
the motion of the cars will cause the butter to separate as 
well as to produce a deposit of casein, which change need 
not be apprehended when milk is at the lower temperature 
indicated. A farther requirement is to' have the vessels com- 
pletely filled with the milk,- and closely fastened. Sometimes 
a small proportion of bicarbonate of soda is added to the 
milk in hot weather, with important results in preventing it 
from turning sour. — (7, June^ 1870, 43. 



The German Agricultierist says that a great portion of the 
fine flavor of fresh butter is destroyed by the usual mode of 
washing, and he recommends a thorough kneading for the re- 
moval of the buttermilk, and a subsequent pressing in a linen 
cloth. Butter thus prepared, according to our authority, is 
pre-eminent for its sweetness of taste and flavor, qualities 
which are retained a long time. To improve manufactured 
batter we are advised by the same authority to work it thor- 
oughly with fresh cold milk, and then to wash it in clear wa- 
ter ; and it is said that even cold and rancid butter may be 
rendered palatable hj washing it in water to which a few 
drops of a solution of chloride of lime have been added. — 10 
(7, 1871, rv., 47. 




According to the Moniteur Sdentijique^ a coloring matter 
much superior to the annotto for coloring butter may be pre- 
pared from carrots. For this purpose the roots are to be cut 
in slices and dried, and afterward ground to powder, and sub- 
jected to the action of sulphide of carbon. An extract can 
be obtained in this way which, rapidly crystallized, furnishes 
pure carotine, an insipid, inodorous substance, resembling aliz- 
arine in appearance. — 1 -4, March 17, 130. 


Few of our readers are aware, we presume, that an oil can 
be made from the yolk of eggs, or that this is manufactured 
or used in any quantity. We are informed, however, that 
such is the case in Kussia, and that a large quantity is there 
prepared for various purposes. The better qualities are used 
for salad-dressing, and considered very much superior to olive- 
oil ; while from the more common kinds is manufactured the 
well-known Easan soap. Both articles are too expensive for 
ordinary use, the soap especially, which is only employed 
among the cosmetics and toilet articles of the wealthy Rus- 
sian ladies. — 7 (7, G 71, v., 304. 


The French Journal de Pharmacie contains an account of 
various experiments made in France on the best method 
of preserving eggs — a subject of much importance there. 
Among the different processes, the best, and at the same time 
one of the simplest, was found to consist in rubbing some 
vegetable oil (linseed especially) on the egg^ this preventing 
any alteration for a sufficient time, and proving to be much 
more satisfactory than any other plan hitherto recommended. 
—17 A, October, 1870^ 161. 


As is well known, flour kept in barrels for a long time oft- 
en acquires a peculiar odor, supposed to be derived from the 
barrel. Professor Poleck, of Silesia, has lately made a care- 
ful examination of such flour, and has ascertained that this 
smell actually indicates an incipient decomposition prejudi-^ 


cial to bread-making, the gluten of the flour having in part 
become changed into a soluble body. Thus, while sound 
flour preserved in sacks contained 11.06 per cent, of gluten 
and 1.44 per cent, of soluble albuminous matter, four other 
specimens of flour taken from different barrels were severally 
composed of 8.37 per cent, gluten to 2.14 per cent, soluble 
albumen; 7.40 per cent, to 6.90 per cent.; 7.23 per cent, to 
4.44 per cent. ; and 6.54 per cent, to 6.46 per cent. Two 
sampiles with more than 6 per cent, of soluble matter had an 
acid reaction, while the others were neutral. Professor Po- 
leck believes this chemical change of the flour to be induced 
by the fact that the barrel prevents communication with the 
atmospheric air and the equalization of temperature. Tliis 
view is confirmed by the oft-repeated observation that flour 
in sacks keeps fresh for a much longer time, and that the 
mustiness in barrels always develops first, and exists in the 
highest degree in the centre, viz., that portion most remote 
from the outer air. — 19 (7, xx., 193. 


A Grerman scientific journal contains the results of an elab- 
orate series of experiments on the effects of feeding dogs and 
man on bread alone, and on bread mingled with meat and 
other articles of diet. These experiments, it is stated, prove 
that a bread diet alone is very expensive, as a large quantity 
must be given to supply the daily waste of the fleshy tissues. 
On the other hand, the addition of a small quantity of meat . 
reduces the cost of support and keeps up the strength of the 
body. Insufficient food, it is demonstrated, causes the tissues 
of the body to become more watery, and renders the entire 
organism less capable of resisting injurious influences. In 
the experiments on man, the attempt was made to ascertain 
which of the several kinds of bread in ordinary use was ab- 
sorbed in the greatest amount in its passage through the ali- 
mentary canal. It was found that white wheat bread was 
absorbed in the greatest amount, then leavened rye bread, 
then rye bread raised by chemical processes, and, lastly, the 
"pumpernickel," or German black bread. The great nutri- ^ 
tions value attributed to bran is denied by the experimenter. 
—12 A, 1611, April 20,497. 



A new article called preserved bread has lately been intro- 
daced in Paris as a substitute for biscuit, or hard-tack, for 
travelers, and for naval and military commiBsary stores gen* 
erally. Bread prepared in the ordinary way is first submit- 
ted to a drying process for from eight to fifteen days, until 
every particle of moisture is eliminated. It is then com- 
pressed to the utmost, so as to occupy the least possible^bulk, 
having been previously exposed for a short time to the action 
of steam in a suitable vessel The loaves are then piled up 
upon iron plates with rims, which serve as moulds during the 
operation. These plates are then placed under a hydraulic 
press, subjected to great pressure, and allowed to cool there 
during twenty -four hours. The cakes thus obtained are 
placed in boxes, sealed up, and, if kept from moisture, can be 
preserved for many years. This bread has a vitreous frac- 
ture, but the teeth penetrate it without effort. It softens 
readily in soup, and for many purposes is very much superior 
to the preparations usually employed under the same cir- 
cumstances, especially on account of being leavened. — 2 JS, 
June 11,668. 


A method of distinguishing genuine red wine from the 
false^ according to Cotteni, consists in mixing fifty parts of 
the liquor to be tested with six parts of nitric acid of 1.40 
specific gravity, and heating the mixture to 190° or 200° F. 
Under these circumstances natural wine experiences no 
change after the lapse of an hour, while that which has been 
artificially colored loses its tint in five minutes.— 1 4 (7, CO., 
m., 242. 


The method of preserving wine devised by Pasteur, which 
consists in heating it, after having been bottled up or put up 
in casks, to a temperature sufficient to destroy the vitality 
of any existing spores of the wine fungus, and thereby to 
prevent their development, marked a new era in the business 
of wine-making, the treatment recommended having been-fol- 
lowed with great success, and coming more and more into 


usa . Quite recently the same principle has been made use 
of in regard to beer, which is still more liable than wine to 
become sour. In this case, too, the success has been complete, 
andimniense quantities of mah liquors of various kinds, after 
having been subjected to the process, are now shipped from 
Germany to all parts of the world. The bottles, after being 
filled and well corked, are kept for about half an hour in a 
water-bath having a temperature of 122° Fahrenheit, after 
which the warm water is gradually replaced by cold, so as 
to prevent too rapid cooling. In one of the experiments in- 
stituted for determining the feasibility of the operation, four 
bottles of the same kind of beer were well corked, and two of 
them were submitted to the process in question, after which 
ail were introduced into a heated room in the vicinity of a 
stove, and kept at a temperature of between .^0° and 80:^ for 
four weeks. At the end of this time the prepared beer was 
found to be perfectly clear and of a golden tint, with only a 
slight deposit of granular matter at the bottom. The unpre- 
pared beer, however, was found to have passed into an active 
state of fermentation^ turning completely sour, and one of 
the bottles had burst in consequence. It is requisite, howr 
ever, in preparing beer by this method, that the corks be per- 
fectly tight, and for this purpose the best Champagne corks 
must be selected, and, if possible, soaked in a hot solution of 
paraffine and some resin (as colophony), a composition which 
melts only at a temperature of 120°. In this way the entire 
percentage of carbonic acid of the beer will be retained in 
thel>ottle, and the beer will be found capable of preservation 
for an indefinite period of time. It is ss^d that beer of any 
quality can be kept in this way, the lightest and weakest be- 
ing as susceptible of preservation as any other. — 9 G^ October^ 
1870, 11. 

. • i 


It is said that beer or ale that has been soured by the con- 
version of a portion of its alcohol into acetic acid may be 
restored by passing it through a column of vegetable matter, 
packed in a suitable vessel. Dried grains, wheat chaff, bran, 
or other vegetable substances may be used as the filtering 
material, and will be found, it is asserted, to retain the acid. 
— 8'-4, October 1 , 1 86. 


The practice of brewing beer from rice is rapidly coming 
into use in Germany. This beer is said to be of a very 
clear, pale color, of an extremely pleasant, mild taste, foam- 
ing strongly, and yet retaining well its carbonic acid. — 1 -4, 
December 23,311. 


It is said that the hard crust or deposit that forms in beer 
and wine bottles, adhering sometimes with extreme tenacity, 
may be very readily removed by washing them in a solution 
of permanganate of soda ; or, if necessary, allowing this to 
stand for a time in the bottle. The separation will be facili- 
tated by the free use of the ordinary bottle brush. — 13 (7, 
cTw/y 15, 1007. 


Tannin as obtained from the grape is now much used in 
the treatment of wine, for the special object of arresting fer- 
mentation and preventing change beyond a desired point. A 
similar application has also been made with much success in 
the preparation of beer ; and the result, according to critical 
authority, has been to establish a new epoch in this manufac- 
ture. It is to the presence of tannin in the leaves of the hop 
that its preservative peculiarities are due ; and in the tannin 
of the nut-gall we have the same agent in greater intensity, 
76 grains of tannin exerting as positive an action upon beer 
as a pound of the l?est hops. By taking tannin dissolved in 
ten times its weight of warm water and adding it to the wort, 
a complete clarification will take place, and on cooling a de- 
posit will be thrown down. In all cases where the peculiar 
aroma and bitter substance of hops are not desired, but a 
sweet wine or beer is to be produced, the hops can always 
be replaced completely and with advantage by the tannin. 
The use of this new raatenal allows the manufacture of sev- 
eral new kinds of beer, and obviates the necessity of using 
any other modes of clarifying. — 5 C, xxvi., 208. 


pasteub's mods op pbepakino vinegae. 

The researches of Pasteur, in regard to the microscopic 
growths that affect the silk-worm, the vine, wine, etc., are well 
known to many of our readers, but they may not be so famil- 
iar with one of his many important practical applications of 
science to the economical manufacture of an excellent qual- 
ity of vinegar. His method has been practiced in an ^tens- 
ive establishment in Orleans, France, for some time past, un- 
der his direction, although it is but recently that the details 
of the process have been made known. The apparatus em- 
ployed consists of as many tubs, holding abcTut thirty gallons 
each, as can conveniently be accommodated in one room, kept 
heated to a temperature of Y0° to 80°. These are filled with 
a mixture of Vinegar and wine, and the vinegar fungus is 
planted, or sown, upon the surface. This is an application of 
the fact, established by Pasteur, that the conversion of wine 
into vinegar is caused by the development in the liquid of 
the so-called vinegar fungus, or Mycoderma aceti. This plant- 
ing, or sowing, is accomplished by the use of thin wooden 
spatulas, previously moistened to prevent adhesion, and then 
laid on the liquid covered by the fungus, so as to take off a 
thin layer, and afterward immersing this carefully in the un- 
changed liquid, and stirring round so as to carry the fungus 
to the bottom. This soon rises to the surface, which is com- 
pletely covered by it in about eighteen hours. With the de- 
velopment of the plant the manufacture begins, accompanied 
by a considerably concomitant development of heat. In the 
course of nine or ten days, and sometimes in eight, the entire 
liquid is transformed into vinegar, the completion of the oper- 
ation being shown by the tearing apart of the fungus layer, 
and its falling to the bottom. The vinegar, which by this 
time has become cold, is drawn off through an opening near 
the bottom of the tub, ninety-five parts of vinegar being ob- 
tainable from one hundred parts of the wine. When the vine- 
gar is drawn off the tubs are to be well scrubbed out with 
"clean water, so as to be entirely free from all particles of fun- 
gus ; they are then ready for a ne'^' mixture of wine and vine- 
gar. The advantage of this method consists in its simplicity 
and in the ease with which the work can be prosecuted ; the 
.first results being obtained in ten days, and the whole com- 


pleted in twelve or fourteen. In the old methods it was nec- 
essary to add a very large proportion of vinegar to the wine 
in order to transform a small quantity of the latter, so that 
from one tub of one hundred quarts only nine quarts of vine- 
gar were furnished weekly; while by the new method -nine 
and a half quarts can be furnished daily, or sixty-six in a week, 
being seven times as much as by the old method. In conse- 
quei^e of the more rapid preparation by the new process, the 
vinegar is less aromatic when completed, but" very soon ac- 
quires this important quality. — 6 CjXxrv.yJune 15, 234. 


It is said that, to impart an excellent green color to pickles, 
they must be first covered with boiling hot salt water, and aft- 
er a short time the water poured off and the pickles drained. 
They are then to be placed in an earthen pot and covered 
with boiling vinegar, the top put on, and the whole kept at 
a lukewarm temperature for a long time, the vinegar being 
poured off every day, heated to boiling, and turned again upon 
the pickles. This is to be continued until the color is a beau- 
tiful green. The vinegar used in this process is then to be 
poured off and replaced by fresh, and the jar closed tightly. 
This method of coloring is perfectly harmless, although the 
result is as bright a green as that of verdigris. — 6 C, vi.,48. 


Unripe fruit, especially apples and pear^, as is well known, 
is much used in the manufacture of vinegar, but the process 
usually adopted is defective in many important points. We 
therefore give, for the benefit of our readers, the substance 
of an article, from Graeger's Manual of Vinegar Making, just 
published in Germany, which may, perhaps, serve.a useful pur- 
pose. The principal fault of the old process consists in throw- 
ing away the pulp after the juices are expressed. As this, 
however, contains a large percentage of starch, excellently 
adapted for converaion into vinegar, it is necessary to pre- 
pare the fruit so as to save this portion of its substance.' 
With this object it is to \>e grated, exactly as potatoes are 
prepared in the manufacture of starch, and the pulp passed 
through a moderately fine sieve, or through a coarse and open 
meshed cloth. There is thus nothing left behind but the pom- 


ace proper, or cellulose, all the starchy matter having been 
passed through the sieve with the juice. This is next to be 
diluted with water, in proportion to the quantity of starchy 
matter thus obtained, and the whole is then placed in a clean 
copper kettle, one or two per cent, of concentrated sulphuric 
acid being added, and heated long enough to transform the 
starch into grape sugar. The sulphuric acid is to be neu- 
tralizcMi by means of carbonate of lime ; the gypsum or the 
sulphate of lime thus produced allowed to settle, and the liq- 
uid to become clear, and then poured off. The liquid is to 
be left for fermentation to take place, either with or without 
the use of yeast. A liquid having eight or ten per cent, of 
sugar can easily be made to have four or five per cent, of al- 
cohol after fermentation, which, by its subsequent acidifica- 
tion, will yield a vinegar of five to six per cent, of acetic acid. 
—8 C, Feb. 16, 64. 


A concentrated preparation of food, somewhat similar in 
composition and character to the celebrated ^' peas pudding" 
used in the late French and German war, is made by Mr. 
Batty, of England, by first reducing peas to a fine state of di- 
vision, either by boiling and then rubbing them down, or by 
grinding into meal. To this meal he adds a quantity of Lie- 
big's extract of beef and a small quantity of the concentrated 
essence of meat. He then introduces a mixture of fresh veg- 
etables, such as cav^'ots, turnips, onions, etc, reduced to a pulp. 
Mint may be introduced in the form of dry powder, and cel- 
ery may be used in the form of ah essence. Pepper and oth- 
er condiments are added to suit the taste, and salt as may be 
required. — ^A^June 1, 118, 


Tin-foil has long been used with excellent effect as a pre- 
servative from the air of various substances that require such 
exclusion, especially such as chocolate, tobacco, cocoa-butter, 
efflorescent and deliquescent salts, etc. Quite recently a new 
application has been made of it in the preservation of lemons, 
which, as is well known, soon become dry and hard when ex- 
posed to the air, and ultimately parchment-like and covered 
with mould. The foil, however, has the effect of preventing 



such drying np, and of keeping the lemons fresh for an indef- 
inite period of time. In one experiment, after an interval of 
two months, the lemons had only lost one and a half per cent, 
of their weight, and in three months little over three per cent., 
and in some cases even less than this. Oranges, similarly 
treated, lost only about five per cent, in two months, and on 
the removal of the metal covering both kinds of fruit were 
found to be as fresh and fragrant as when the experiment 
c6mmenced. — 18 ^, Nov. 1 8, 1870, 194. 


A convenient method of preparing desiccated vegetables, 
as practiced largely in some countries, consists in drying 
them for a short time and then exposing them to a slow heat 
in ovens. When soaked for cooking, peas, roots, potatoes, 
beets, com, and other substances, swell out and show very lit- 
tle change in their esculent properties. A modification of the 
process consists in placing the substances, after being sun- 
dried, in paper bags, which are pasted up at the mouth, and 
then covered with sand and heated until perfectly crisp, but 
not burned nor materially changed in color. — IS A^ June 16, 


A convenient method of closing up prepared fruits consists 
in placing them in stone pots somewhat narrowed at the up- 
per end, pieces of paper being laid over the fruit in such a 
manner that when the top is applied there will be no opening 
into the interior. • Some gypsum is then to be mixed with 
water, and poured in a liquid form over the cover to a depth \ 
of half an inch. In a few moments the gypsum hardens, and 
the jar becomes air-tight, and the contents, it is said, will re- 
main unchanged for years, the exclusion of the air being much 
more perfect than by the ordinary methods of closing with 
India-rubber or with tin. — 9 (7, January^ 1871, 6. 


Miss Lydia Becker, although best known as a writer on 
political economy and social science, gave a valuable hint 
during a recent discussion of the British Association upon 
the " Germ Theory," in which she showed its bearing upon 



the making of preserves, and keeping mould from settling on 
the jam. According to the old practice of leaving the pots 
uncovered for several days, time was allowed for the germs 
in the atmosphere to descend and settle on the jam, which 
was a capital soilj asd the result was a plentiful crop of mould. 
She therefore advised the ladies in the section, when making 
preserves, to cover up the pots while the sweetmeats were in 
a heated condition. — 18 Aj August 25 y 562. 


Some rules for preparing fruit sirups given by a German 
expert are perhaps worth a trial by our readers. To have 
fruit juices fit for preservation, it is necessary, in the. -first 
place, to select fully ripe and undecayed fruit, and after mash- 
ing the fruit it should receive an addition of five to ten per 
cent, of sugar, and then be left to undergo a slight fermenta- 
tion. Pectine is precipitated in consequence of the produc- 
tion of alcohol, and the juice, after filtratioxr, becomes perfect- 
ly clear, and is much improved in flavor and color. Raspber- 
ries, whortleberries, currants, cherries, etc., may be thus treat- 
ed, but the delicate flavor of the strawbeny requires some 
modification of the process. In this, two pounds of carefully 
picked strawberries (the wild strawberry of the woods is the 
best) are put into a glass jar with two and a half pounds of 
white powdered sugar, and occasionally shaken. The sugar 
extracts the juice, and the berries shrivel to a dry pulp, and, 
after filtering, the sirup is ready for use. Heating must be 
carefully avoided, as it would at once destroy the fragrance 
of the fruit. As to cherries, the so-called Morello is recom- 
mended, and, by leaving the cracked stones in the pulp, a fla- 
vor like that of bitter almonds will be imparted. To make 
sirup of the fruit-juice prepared as above indicated, our author 
advises us never to make use of any metallic vessels or spoons, ; 

and always to take best refined loaf-sugar in lumps, five parts -i 

of juice to eight parts of sugar constituting a good propor- 
tion. The lumps of sugar are moistened with just enough 1^ 
water to cause them to dissolve readily, when the remaining f^ 
juice is added, and the whole is to be rapidly heated to boil- }| 
ing, which, however, must only be continued for a few min- | 
utes. With good sugar no skimming is necessary, and filter- jJ 
ing through flannel or other woolen cloth, previously wetted 


in water containing a few drops of sulphuric acid, and well 
wrung, will make the sirup perfectly clear. It is best to fill 
the preserve jars with the sirup when cold, but if it has been 
done when hot, the vessel must be filled up after cooling, as 
the vapor condenses on the portion of tl\p vessel left empty, 
and, ininning down, dilutes the upper stratum of the sirup, 
thus making it more liable to spoil. — 8 (7,1871,14,109. 


The London Mechanics' Magazine gives an account of a gas 
cooking-stove, manufactured for the Earlswood Lunatic Asy- 
lum, and capable of preparing a dinner for one thousand per- 
sons. It measures sixteen feet in length, six and a half feet 
in height, and two and a half feet in depth, weighing about 
three tons, and is so constructed as to perform every variety 
of cooking required under any circumstances, with the excep- 
tion of boiling or steaming, for which other provision is made 
in the asylum* The gas, when used, is mixed with atmoE- 
pheric air, and the stove is calculated to consume one hundred 
and fifty feet of gas per hour. Many advantages are claimed 
for this stove, both on the score of economy and convenience. 
It is stated, as the result of experiment, that the loss of weight 
in cooking one hundred and eighty-four pounds of meat was 
only eighteen pounds, while the loss in cooking the same 
amount by a coal fire was thirty-four pounds. — 3 -4, June 17, 


We can all remember when ordinary loaf-sugar was broken 
up at home, frequently by means of a knife and a flat-iron, or 
less frequently, perhaps, by means of a chisel and hammer or 
mallet. After a time the operation was performed either at 
the manufactory or by the grocer, as a means of alleviating 
the labors of the housekeeper, although it was not until after 
a^ considerable interval that the sugar, thus treated, was fur- 
nished in cubical blocks of uniform size, as we now see it. 
Various forms of apparatus have been suggested from time 
to time for accomplishing this result, the principal object be- 
ing to secure an equal division, and, at the same time, cause 
as little waste of the material as possible. An improved form 
of apparatus has recently been devised, in which the loaves 




are first cut longitadinally into seven plates, and then into 
various broad and narrow strips, and ultimately into many 
cubical bloi^s of any desired dimensions, so that a given 
number — ^forty, fifty, or sixty, or more — shall weigh exactly 
a pound. The same machine sorts out the perfect cubes from 
those that are imperfect, and sifts the sugar filings into a re- 
ceiver, and grinds up all the imperfect blocks into grained 
sugar of any desired degree of fineness, the whole being ac- 
complished in the course of a few minutes. — 13 (7, August 11, 


The Australian papers are congratulating the people of 
that country upon the demand that has lately sprung up in 
England for opossum skins, to be manufactured into gloves, 
as they appear to furnish excellent material for this purpose. 
As the opossum is considered a great nuisance in Australia, 
by its destruction of trees and injury to orchards, gardens, 
etc., it is anticipated that the very great call for them will do 
much toward keeping these animals in subjection. It is 
hardly necessary to say that the species in question is very 
different from the well-known opossum of the United States. 


Within a few years past, refuse leather, in the form of cut- 
tings, scrapings, etc., from shoe and harness factories, has been 
utilized by being converted into leather boards, which are ex- 
tensively employed at the present time in the United States 
and Europe for the manufacture of inner soles of shoes, and 
for other purposes where the material is not likely to be ex- 
posed to the wet. The process of preparing these boards 
consists in first cleaning the scraps, so as to free them from 
all foreign substances, and then softening them for a time in 
water, to which is added some adhesive substance, such as 
glue or gelatine. After being sufficiently softened, the scraps 
are laid upon tin plates of the proper size, having a rim all 
around, and arranged longitudinally and transversely, so as 
to make the strata nearly even, until the required thickness 
is obtained. A number of these plates are then placed one 
upon another, and subjected to a hydraulic pressure until the 


separate fragments are united into a nearly uniform mass. 
After these layers have dried sufficiently they are passed un- 
der a roller, so as to smooth them off and give*to them the 
external appearance of the onginal leather. — 6 (7, June 1, 216. 


An English contemporary describes a simple apparatus^ to 
be used in washing, that certainly has the merit of great sim- 
plicity. It consists of a neat hand frame, about nine inches 
long by five inches wide, weighing about one and a half 
pounds, and having one plain and two corrugated rollers, or 
one corrugated and two plain rollers, between which are 
about three dozen patent knuckle rubbers. The clothes, be- 
ing well soaked in a tub or machine, are spread upon the side 
of the tub, or upon a washing-board, and the machine drawn 
quickly over them until the dirt is washed out. The clothes 
are then taken out of water, and the operation repeated, by 
which means they are pressed dry and made ready for hang- 
ing out. No hand-rubbing is needed, and it is stated that 
any one can use it. There is said to be no noise made in the 
operation, nor any strain or violence to the linen. Another 
article of similar utility is a simple contrivance, consisting of 
an under frame about sixteen inches long, having two plain 
rollers, to be used on a board or table as a smoothing and 
mangling apparatus. — 18 ^, October 14, 80. 


An easy method of removing gypsum from water consists 
in the application of the native carbonate of baryta, ground 
to a fine powder, in the proportion of about half a pound to 
a large pailful. After the addition of this substance the wa- 
ter is well stirred, and left at rest for twenty-four hours to 
deposit the sediment, after which it is to be poured off, and 
may be used. — 1 A^February 11, 1870, 70. 


In an article upon the trade in human hair the author 
states that a patent has recently been taken out for convert- 
ing goat's hair into hair for ladies' use, and that the experi- 
ment is so successful as to render it almost impossible to 
distinguish the real article from the imitation. This will be 


good news not only to the dealers in hair, who might appre- 
hend the exhaustion of their source of supply, hut also to the 
ladies who depend vCj^on art to compensate the deficiencies 
of nature. The same article states that in 1868 over 22 000 
pounds of hair were imported into Great Britain, represent- 
ing the clip of about 46,000 women. Much of this is ob- 
tained from the large communities of sisterhoods scattered 
throughout France and Belgium.— 1 7 ^, October, 1870, 149. 


Sulphate of baryta, or the so-called " fixed white," is strong- 
ly recommended as a substitute for lime in whitewashing. 
For this purpose an ounce of glue is to be softened for some 
hours in cold water, and afterward heated in a water-bath 
with a quart of water, until completely dissolved. At the 
same time, six or eight pounds of fixed white are to be stirred 
lip with warm water in another vessel to a kind of milk, and 
the two poured together, and applied warm with a white- 
wash-brush or otherwise. — 13 Gy August 1, 1067. 


According to Herbst, petroleum may be applied with ex- 
cellent advantage in the extirpation of the dry rot, it being 
only necessary to paint the sui*face of wood thus affected 
with the petroleum. A solution of carbolic acid, however, 
answers the same purpose, and involves much less danger 
from fire. — 15 (7, xx., 1870, 336. 


Mr. A. Patera, of Vienna, recommends the application of a 
mixture of borax and Epsom salts, or a mixture of sulphate 
of ammonia and sulphate of lime, as the best method of ren- 
dering woven fabrics and clothing generally uninflammable. 


If a solution of sal ammonia and gypsum be added to the 
starch used in doing up linen or cotton clothing, these become 
considerably less inflammable, according to the experiments 
of Mr. Patera, and, though not rendered incombustible, the 
danger from fire is greatly diminished. — 8 (7, 187l,xvi., 137. 



Mr. A Patera recommends the solution of the following 
sub&rtances in water for the purpose of application to wood 
to render it incombustible, expeiiments with all being equal- 
ly satisfactory : 1. One third part of sulphate of animonia, 
and two thirds of sulphate of lime (gypsum). 2. Equal parts 
of borax and Epsom salts. 3. A concentrated solution of 
soluble glass, without any admixture. "Wood supplied with 
a coating of any of these solutions, according to Mr. Patera, 
will be measurably protected against the spread of fire. — 
18 (7,1871, XVI., 127. 


Much annoyance is frequently experienced by the soiling 
of marble table-tops or other marble objects, and a perfectly 
satisfactory method of removing such stains is still a deside- 
ratum. It is said that if slacked lime be mixed with a strong 
solution of soap into a pasty mass and spread over the spot 
in question, and allowed to remain for twenty-four to thirty 
hours, then carefully washed off with soap and water, and 
finally with pure water, the stain will be almost entirely re- 
moved, especially if the application be repeated once or twice. 

Another preparation consists in mixing an ox-gall with a 
quarter of a pound of soap-boiler's lye, and an eighth of a' 
pound of oil of turpentine, and adding enough pipe-clay earth 
to form a paste, which is ih9a to be placed upon the marble 
for a time, and afterward scraped off; the application to be 
repeated until the marble is perfectly clean, it is quite pos- 
sible that with all our endeavors a faint trace of the stains 
may be left ; but it is said that this will be almost inappre- 
ciable. Should the spots be produced by oil, these are to be 
first treated with petroleum for the purpose of softening the 
hardened oil, and the above-mentioned applications may be 
made subsequently. 

Ink spots may be removed by first washing with pure wa- 
ter, and then with a weak solution of oxalic acid. Subse- 
quent polishing, however, will be necessary, as the lustre of 
the stone may become dimmed. This can be best secured 
by very finely powdered soft white marble, applied with a 
linen cloth first dipped in water and then into the powder.. 


If the place be subsequently rubbed with a dry cloth the lus- 
tre will be restored. — 13 G^May^ ix., 596. 


In an elaborate article published in the German Muster 
Zeitimg upon the eradication of spots of different kinds from 
clothing) we are informed that benzine is undoubtedly by far 
the best and cheapest substance for removing grease, resin, 
stearine, paraffine, tar, wagon-grease, etc., the purest kind to 
be applied to the more delicate fabrics. Ether and petroleum 
ether are said to be of almost equal efficiency in this respect. 
Such spots are often complicated by the adhesion of dust or 
other matters, whict, even if insoluble themselves, readily 
fall off when the substance with which they are combined is 
removed. For spots of oil it is best to add a little alcoholic 
ether. Silver spots and indelible ink can be removed, even 
after, a long time, by means of cyanide of potassium or iodide 
of potassium applied in a concentrated solution, flust spots 
can be made to disappear by treatment with a weak solution 
composed of one part nitric acid and twenty-five of water, 
and afterward rinsing with water and ammonia ; copper spots 
by diluted sulphuric acid and amn^onia, and subsequently 
with water and ammonia. Spots of paint, when not soluble 
in water and alcohol, can almost always be removed by oil 
of turpentine. For complete removal, it is necessary to wash 
the spot afterward in a good deal of turpentine. Fruit, wine, 
and similar spots are to be treated by sulphurous acid, which 
may be replaced sometimes, but riot always, by chlorine. The 
acid may be applied either in the form of gas or dissolved in 
water ; in the first case the substance to be treated is to be 
stretched at the proper height over burning sulphur, and in 
the latter moistened witt^ the solution and Jhen washed with 
pure water. For fine white table-cloths the dilute acid is 
preferable. Printing-ink can be readily taken from any arti- 
cle by means of ether or oil of turpentine. Pure benzine will 
also have a similar effect. Spots produced by alkalies, such 
as soap-boiler's lye, soda, ammonia, etc., can generally be 
made to disappear completely by the prompt application of 
dilute acetic ac^id and a good deal of water. Spots produced ^ 
by hydrochloric or sulphuric acid can be removed by the ap- 
plication of concentrated ammonia, while spots from nitric 
acid can scarcely be obliterated. 


For removing the stain of perspiration, a strong solution 
of soda is first to be applied, with a subsequent rinsing with 
water. Spots from sulphur and phosphorus, caused by luci- 
fer-matches, can be extracted by sulphide of carbon. Ink 
spots are to be treated with oxalic acid, nitric acid, or chlo- 
rine, according to the composition of the ink. As a general 
rule, a solution of oxalic acid applied, and then rinsed off 
with water, will answer the purpose. The removal of actual 
coloring matter, such as the aniline dyes, etc., is more diffi- 
cult, in consequence of the adhesion of the coloring matter to 
the substance of the fibre. — 25 &, xx.. May 24, 166. 


It is said that flannel, which has become yellow by age, 
may be restored to its original whiteness by the use of a 
solution of one and.a half pounds of white Marseilles soap in 
flfly pounds of soft river water, to which is added two thirds 
of an ounce of spirit of aqua ammonia, and the whole thor- 
oughly mixed. The flannel is to be immersed in this solution 
and well stirred around, and afterward washed off in pure 
water. The same result may also, it is said, be obtained still 
more quickly by immersing the flannel for an hour in a dilute 
solution of acid sulphate of soda, and then stirring in dilttte 
hydrochloric acid in the proportion of one part of acid to fifty 
of water. The vessel is then to be covered over and allowed 
to remain for a quarter of an hour, when the articles are to 
be removed and thoroughly washed. — 8 C^ April 21, 127. 


In removing grease spots from fabrics by means of ben- 
zine or petroleum, it often happens that a colored and stained 
outline of the portion moistened is left. This can be prevent- 
ed by the application of a layer of gypsum extending a little 
beyond the moistened region. When dry, the powder is to 
be shaken and brushed off, when no trace of the spot will re- 
main. — 6 (7,xxvni.,e7yy 13, 272. 



It is said that straw matting may be kept new-looking and 
bright by washing it twice during the summer with a warm 
solution made by dissolving a pint of salt in half a pailful of 


soft water, the object of the salt being to prevent it from 
turning yellow. After washing, the matting should be quick- 
ly dried with a soft cloth. 

It is also said that by wiping oil-cloth all over, after being 
scrubbed and dried, with a cloth dipped in milk, the colors 
will come out clear and bright, and remain distinct through- 
out the year. This does not " track off" like oil used for the 
same purpose. — 18 -4, June 2, 271. 



The removal of walnut stains from the hands may be ac- 
accomplished simply by rubbing with slices of apple or of 
pear ; the cleansing power being due, it is supposed, to the 
presence of the acid, which therefore may, perhaps, be ad- 
vantageously replaced by citric acid or lemon-juice. If, how- 
ever, the stains be at once thoroughly washed in fresh water, 
without using soap, they may be made to disappear almost 
entirely; but soap is unadvisable, since its alkali acts as a 
mordant, and fixes the color. — 8 -4, December^ 1870, 223. 


Spots of mould on fabrics can, it is said, be removed from 
cotton or linen by first rubbing them over with butter, and 
afterward applying potassa moistened with a little water, 
and then rubbing the spot, when all traces of it will disap- 
•pear. — 9 (7,2>€cem&er, 1869,95. 


A writer in the Chemical News advises, as the best method 
of removing stains of iron-mould from fabrics, that the mark 
be first wet with yellow sulphide of ammonia, by which it 
will be immediately blackened. After allowing it a minute 
or two to penetrate, the excess of sulphide is to be washed 
out, and the black spot treated with cold dilute chlorohydrio 
acid, by T^^hich it is at once removed. Finally, wash well 
with water. This method is said to avoid the serious objec- 
tion of weakening and rotting the fibre. — 1 A^ June 24, 300. 


Among vegetable substances useful in the arts is one that 
has long been known in New Granada under the name of the 


ink-plant, as furnishing a juice which can be U9ed in writing 
without previous preparation. Characters traced with this 
substance have a reddish color at first, which tunts to a deep 
black in a few hours. This juice is said to be really less lia- 
ble to thicken than ordinary ink, and not to corrode steel 
pens. It resists the action of water, and is practically in- 
delible. The plant is known as Coryaria thymifolia.'^b A^ 
July^ 313. 


A German writer shows that a great variety of colors and 
dyes can be readily obtained from common plants found al- 
most every where, the method consisting principally in boil- 
ing them in water at a high temperature, so as to produce a 
strong decoction. Thus, for instance, the well-known huckle- 
berry, or blueberry (Vaccinium), when boiled down, with an 
addition of a little alum and a solution of copperas, will de- 
velop an excellent blue color. The same treatment, with a 
solution of nut-galls, produces a clean dark brown tint, while 
with alum, verdigris, and sal ammoniac, various shades of 
purple and red can be obtained. The fruit of the elder {Sam- 
bucus niger)^ so frequently used for coloring spirituous liq- 
uors, will also produce a blue color when treated with alum. 
The privet {Idguatrum vulgare), boiled in a solution of salt, 
will furnish an excellent color, while the overripe berries 
yield a scarlet red. The seeds of the common burning-bush 
{Euonymus)^ when treated with sal ammoniac, produce a 
beautiful purple red, while the juice of the currant, pressed 
out and mixed with a solution of alum, will furnish a bright 
red color. The bark, treated in the same way, produces a 
brown. Yellow can be obtained from the bark of the apple- 
tree, the box, the ash, the buckthorn, the poplar, elm, etc., 
when boiled in water and treated with alunt A lively green 
is furnished by the broom-corn (Spartium scqparium)^ and 
brownish-green by the genista. -:-10 (7, January 14, 1871,6. 


It is said that an ointment made of corrosive sublimate 
and lard will prove an effectual protection against the rust- 
ing of gun-barrels on the sea-shore. — ISA^Auyu^ 25,671. 




In Germany, cheap cigars are put in boxes made of ordina- 
ry wood, and stained so as to imitate the conventional cedar 
boxes of the tobacconist. To effect this imitation, some cate- 
chu is dissolved, in twenty parts of its weight in boiling wa- 
ter, then strained and. again brought to a boil, and a concen- 
trated solution of the double bichromate of potash stirred 
into it. The color can be varied by the dilution of this mix- 
ture, and the quantity of the bichromate added. When this 
is applied fresh and warm to dry white wood, the effect of 
the cedar can be very closely imitated. — 5 (7, xxxin., 264. 


A form of envelope has recently become quite popular in 
Germany, and possesses the convenience of enabling one to 
open a letter when completely sealed up, without the ordina- 
ry difficulty of finding an entrance. The arrangement con- 
sists in introducing a thread, which projects from one of the 
corners, by pulling which the lower edge of the envelope is 
cut througljL without injury to the inclosure, the address, or 
the stamp.— 8 (7, 1870, April 21. 


Many of our readers have experienced the inconvenience 
of using candles, which, being too small for the sockets of the 
candlestick, are liable to drop out at an unpropitious moment, 
or else, being too large, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, 
to insert them so as to be securely fastened. As a question 
of important domestic economy, a recent German writer con- 
descends to show how this trouble may be avoided. He re- 
mark0 that the only certain mode of effecting the adhesion of 
the. candle to the candlestick is by melting the one into the 
other. For this purpose, if the socket be too large, the candle 
is to be lighted and held in an inverted position over the 
socket sufficiently long to cause a considerable amount of 
melted inaterial to drip into it, wheueupon the basA end of 
the candle is to be inserted and held until the melted portion 
is cooled. The connection of the two will then be: so great 
that the whole may be lifted with perfect security by the 
candle as well as by the candlestick. Should the socket be 


too narrow, the lower end of the candle is to be held over an- 
other burning candle, and the part melted off allowed to drop 
into the socket as before, until sufficiently reduced in size, 
when it is to be set into the melted liquid as in the former 
case. Candles thus treated can be allowed to bum down 
completely in their, sockets without involving any danger 
from burning paper or other material used as a wrapping. — 
15 (7, XIV., 221. 


Porcelain dishes which have become cracked may, it is 
said, be rendered water-tight again by drying them complete- 
ly in a warm place, after which a solution of water-glass is to 
be poured in and allowed to stand overnight, then pouring 
it off and allowing the adherent film to dry slowly. — 5 O^ 
1871, II., 16. 


Wooden labels for plants to be inserted in the ground 
may, it is said, be preserved for an indefinite time by first dip- 
ping them into a solution of one part copper vitriol and 
twenty-four parts water, and subsequently immersing in lime- 
water or a solution of gypsum. — 6 (7, JtUi/ 14, 282. 


Among the many applications of borax recently made, one 
of the latest is in the extermination of cockroaches, which 
purpose it is said to answer very perfectly, although we are 
inclined to doubt it Half a pound, finely pulverized and 
scattered about where these disagreeable pests frequent, will, 
it is said, clear an infested house so thoroughly that the ap- 
pearance of one in a month is quite a novelty. It is not 
known upon what peculiar influence of the borax this de- 
pends ; but we are assured that the facts are as stated. One 
advantage of this application is the harmless nature of the 
borax, so that there is no danger to the household from its 
being exf^osed. The use of borax in Europe for washing is 
well known, the addition of a large handful of borax, instead 
of soda, to ten gallons of water, being sufficient to save half 
the quantity of soap ordinarily required. For light fabrics 
and cambrics a moderate quantity is to be used ; but for 



crinolines, which require to be made stiff, a strengthened so- 
lution is necessary. Being a neutral salt, it does not affect 
the texture of linen in the slightest degree ; and as it softens 
the hardest water, it is much used in washing generally. It 
is also said to be unsurpassed for cleaning the hair. — 17 -4, 


The ravages of the white ants in tropical countries are fa- 
miliarly told of in works of travelers, and given as among 
the most remarkable curiosities of insect life ; and much in- 
genuity has been expended in the attempt to eradicate or 
destroy, them. It is said by a late writer that by scattering 
common salt around places frequented by them they will 
soon be made to disappear entirely. — 3 D^January^ 1871. 


Instead of the old-fashioned method of using wax for pol- 
ishing floors, soluble glass is now employed to great advan- 
tage. For this purpose the floor is first well cleaned, and 
then the cracks filled up with a cement of water-glass and 
powered chalk or gypsum ; afterward a water-glass of sixty 
to sixty-five degrees, of the thickness of sirup, is applied by 
means of a stiff brush. Any desired color is to be imparted 
to the floor in a second coat of the water-glass, and additional 
coats are to be given until the requisite polish is obtained. 
A still higher finish may be given by pumicing off the last 
layer, and then putting on a coating of oil. — 8 G^ April 21, 



When screws are driven into soft wood, and subjected to 
considerable strain, they are very likely to work loose, and it 
is often difficult to make them hold. In such cases it is said 
that the use of glue is of service. A stick of about half the 
diameter of the screw to be used is to be first immersed in a 
thick glue, and then inserted in the hole prepared for the 
screw, which is then to be driven home as quickly as possible. 
When an article of furniture is to be hastily repaired, and no 
glue is at handf insert the stick, fill the rest of the cavity with 
pulverized resin, then heat the screw sufficiently to melt the 


resin as it is driven in. Chairs, tables, lounges, etc., are con- 
tinually getting out of order in every house, and the proper 
time to repair them is when first noticed. The matter grows 
worse by neglect, and finally results in laying aside the article 
as worthless. If screws are driven into wood for a temporary 
purpose, they can be removed more easily if dipped in oil be- 
fore being inserted. — 3 J., May 27, 383. 


The following method is recommended for tightening the 
endless cord used in window-blinds: Let the pulley over 
which the cord passes be mounted on one arm of an L-shaped 
slide, the other arm passing inside a heliacal spring, the whole 
mounted in a slotted tubular case, which is to be fastened to 
the window-casing, or other place, so that the heliacal spring 
acts upon the pulley, to keep the endless cord at the tension 
necessary to act upon the curtain-roller, and the spring yields 
to any contraction or expansion of the cords under atmos- 
pheric changes. The arm of the pulley-slide, being within 
the spring, can not become obs^ucted in its movement in the 
tubular case. — Student^ February^ 1870, 107. 

• • 


Corks may be protected from the action of acids by first 
soaking them for several hours in a mixture of one part con- 
centrated water-glass and three parts water. The corks are 
then allowed to dry, and afterwards coated with a mixture 
of finely-powdered glass and water-glass. When this coat- 
ing is dry, the corks are to be placed for a short time in a 
solution of chloride of calcium, from which they are removed 
at length and washed wiUi water, and dried. — 8 (7, 1870, 15. 


Our readers may thank us for a method of preparing what 
is asserted to be an excellent quality of court-plaster, fully 
equal to that usually sold in the drug-stores. For this pur- 
pose, bruised isinglass is soaked twentytfour hours in a little 
warm water. Nearly all the water is then to be evaporated 
by a, gentle heat, and the residue dissolved in a small quanti- 
ty of proof spirits, and the whole strained through a piece of 
open linen. The strained mass should be stifiened jelly when 



oooL A piece of silk is next to be stretched on a 
fiitme, and fixed tight with tacks or otherwise. The 
then to be melted and applied to the silk thinly and 
with a brush, and a second coating put on when the 
dry. When this is dry, the whole is to be covered w 
or three coats of balsam of Peru, applied in the same i 
—6 A, March 5, 303. 


By adding a concentrated solution of chloride of li 
strong solution of common glue, a miiture'will be pi 
which does not dry up, and can be easily dissolved 
addition of water. Thus prepared, it Is recommendi 
.bird-lime, replacing advantageously the article usuall 
out of holly-bark or other substances. — 9 C, October, 1 


A new fonn of paste for attaching paper-hangings t 
and one which, besides possessing the merit of cheapo 
the advantage of preventing the paper from separa 
peeling off, is prepared by first softening 18 pounds ol 
powdered bole in water, and then draining off the 
water from the mass. One and a quarter pounds of g 
next to be boiled into glue water, and the bole ai 
pounds of gypsum are then stirred in, and the who! 
forced through a sieve by means of a brash. This i 
wards diluted with water to the condition of a thin p 
dressing, when it is ready for nse. This paste is ni 
mnch cheaper than the ordinary flour paste, but it I 
advanti^e of adhering better to whitewashed surface 
cially to walls that have been coated over several tim 
firova which the coating has not been carefully removi 
some cases it is advisable, when putting fine paper 
walls, to coat them by means of this paste with a groi 
per, and to apply the paper-hanging itself to this w 
ordinary paste. — 9 C, December, 1869, 92. 


A patent has been taken ont in England for the p 
tion of an improved quality of soap from the poorer 
or brown Idnds. For this purpose a solution of twent 


pounds of hyposulphite pf soda, in four gallons of water, is to 
be heated with two and a half hundred weight of raw soap. 
The product obtained is lighter in eolor than the common 
article, hard and firm, and of superior quality. — 16 (7, 1871, 
256. ■ 


Mr. H. Schlagintweit, the celebrated traveler, tells of a pe- 
culiar way of blowing the fire in India. When, in damp 
weather in the mountains, there was a difficulty in starting 
a fire, his native ^attendants were in the habit of taking a 
bamboo cylinder of about one and a half or two inches in 
diameter, and a foot and a half long, and blowing into it, 
not directly, but from a distance of six inches. This caused 
a whirling motion of the air around the edge, and more air 
was carried to the fire than from a tube held close to the 
mouth. Our traveler always found this expedient successful, 
and believes that the application of a similar tube might es- 
sentially increase the efficiency of the common bellows. — 8 C^ 
1871, xn., 96. 


Among the latest novelties in industrial operations appears 
to be a method devised in South America for loosening the 
skin of dead cattle, by the insertion of a pipe at some point 
between the skin and carcass, through which air is forced. 
The distention produced by th^ air separates the entire skin 
in a very short time from the subjacent fat and fiesh, so that 
the hide can be taken off, and the whole operation completed, 
according to our informant, in the space of one minute. It 
is not impossible that some such application as this may be 
employed to advantage by the taxidermist for the purpose 
of more readily removing the skin from mammals and birds. 
Some species, at least, would be susceptible of this treatment, 
although in others the adhesion would probably be too great 
to admit of it— 3 A, April 28, 1871, 291. 


A writer in the Medioal Times and Gazette refers to the 
&tigue of the limbs produced after a long railway journey 
as due mainly to the trembling motion of the floor under the 


feet, and states that, having safTered considerably from this 
cause, he was induced to try the experiment of using the 
well-known air-cushion as a footstool. This answered so 
well that he has never traveled without using one in this 
way, and has found the effect to be a remarkable improve* 
ment. — 20 -4, September 16,1871, 362. 


A patent bas lately been taken out by Messrs. Madelock 
and Bailey for a method of preserving meat by means of bi- 
sulphite of lime. For this purpose, one gallon of the solu- 
tion of this salt, of the specific gravity of 1.05, is combined 
with one half pound of common salt and four gallons of wa- 
ter. This, it is asserted, will preserve meat perfectly well 
for months, or even years. If this statement be substantiated 
by experiment, it will furnish a means for utilizing an im- 
mense quantity of flesh that now goes to waste, as it seems 
from the statement that this meat, when cooked, is not appre- 
dably dif^rent from that which is perfectly fresh, and is with- 
out any taste of chemical substances. — 1 Ay March 31,1871, 
163. ■■ ' • 


It has been remarked by travelers in Holland that the river 
and sea fish in that country are of remarkable excellence of 
taste, and apparently possess much firmer flesh than those 
^f other regions. This, however, results simply from the fact 
that the fish are always killed at the moment they are taken 
from the water, while in most other countries they are allowed 
to die slowly ; and with the great tenacity of life possessed 
by these animals, many hours, and even several days in some 
cases, elapse before actu^ death ensues. This calls to mind 
the anomaly which prevails between our treatment of fish 
and other animals. The attempt to offer for sale birds or 
beasts that have died by what might be called a natural 
death, or that have been killed by drowning, would very 
soon be met by the action of the pqjice authorities ; but 
what corresponds to precisely the same treatment in fishes 
is allowed to pass as a matter of course. A slight considera- 
tion of the circumstances will soon convince us of the impro- 
priety of this practice, and that the quicker we are in causing 


the death of fish, as well as other animals, the better for us. 
There is also some choice in the method of killing ; this, in 
most cases, being by -a violent blow on the head; or against 
the side of a boat, or by means of a stick. The practice in 
Holland, however, is to sever the spinal marrow and the ar- 
teries of the neck just back of the head, by which means 
death ensues immediately, and the blood is allowed to escape 
from the body. 

The difference in the taste offish killed and of those allowed 
to die is most marked in species of vigorous habits and con- 
taining much blood, such as, for instance, our own bluefish 
{Temnodon aaltator). Many pei*sons have been struck by 
the excellence of this fish, as served up at Nantucket or £d- 
gartown, finding them so much superior to those which they 
have eaten in other localities. The practice of the fishermen 
in these waters is to cut the throat o£ the fish between the 
gills immediately after capturing them, thus allowing the 
blood to escape freely and in large quantity. Experience 
has shown that fish killed in this way, and bled, will retain 
their firmness and freshness very much longer than those al- 
lowed to die in the ordinary manner. — Zeitschri/t fUr AJcMi- 


It is said that spots of rust on linen or cotton articles may 
be made to disappear by first dipping them in a boiling hot 
saturated solution of oxalic acid, and then sprinkling them 
with very fine tin filings. — 6 (7, xx., 160. 


A very convenient kindling wood is made in France from 
corn-cobs by immersing them in a mixture of sixty parts of 
melted resin and forty parts of tar, after which they are taken 
out and allowed to dry. They are then subjected to a second 
operation, which consists in spreading them out on a metallic 
plate heated to 212° Fahrenheit. They are finally assorted 
according to size, and tied up in bundles. These are sold at 
the rate of three or four for a cent. The establishment in 
Paris for manufacturing them employs thirty workmen, and 
effects sales to the amount of $40,000 annually. — 13 C7, ISVl, 
November 1,1384. 




In a course of lectures delivered before the Royal Institu- 
tion of Great Britain by Rev. Samuel Haughton, of Dublin, 
he attempts to prove, that in every arr^gement of bone, 
muscle, joints, and parts of animals, the relations must be such 
as to produce a given result with the least possible expendi- 
ture of labor, and that this principle of '' least action in na- 
ture" is a guiding one,' and can be shown to exist not merely 
in the. movements of the planetary and stellar bodies, but 
also, and illustrated as well, in all physical phenomena, as in 
those, of an organic nature. As is well known to many of 
our readers, one.of the highest author- 
ities on specical and animal mechanics, and it is in this branch 
of research that he endeavors to prove the existence of the 
law in question. — 20 A^ May 27, 697. 

Fletcher's rhysimetre. 

Mr. Fletcher communicates to the British Association an 
instrument which he. calls the Rhysimetre, intended to indi- 
cate the velocity of flowing liquids, and measuring the speed 
of ships through the water. The principle resembles that of 
the anemometer of Mr. Fletcher, by which he is able to meas- 
ure the speed of hot aii*, flame, and smoke. In both instru- 
ments the impact force of the current, and also its tendency 
to induce a current parallel with itself, are measured, and be- 
come indicators of the force and velocity of the stream. A 
modification of the apparatus is used in measuring the speed 
of ships, the indicator, in size and appearance resembling a 
barometer, being placed in the captain's cabin. The instru- 
ment can be made self-registering, marking on a sheet of pa- 
per the speed obtained at any instant of time. It is said 
that it has already been introduced on board some of the 
larger steamers plying between England and America, and 
has proved of great value, superseding entirely the crude 
process of "throwing the log," as it shows at any moment 
the exact speed of the ship.-r-l 8 A^ Augttst 1 8, 631. 



A simple method of restoring bnrned steel to a workable 
condition consists in immersing it in a preparation made by 
melting three parts of pure colophony in a cracible, and aft- 
er it has become perfectly fluid, adding, with continued stir- 
ring, two paits of boiled linseed oil, care being taken to pre- 
vent the mixture catching fire, of which there is danger should 
the temperature be too high. A dark brown mass will ulti- 
mately be obtained of the consistency of sirup, which has 
the peculiarity that any 'piece of cast steel, however much 
burned, when immersed in it at a red heat, immeliiately re- 
covers its original excellence ; and should the operation be 
repeated several times successively, a quality of steel is ob- 
tained of a fineness much superior to that of its original con* 
dition. The tempering is best done at a dark red heat, in 
rain water. — 15 C^ 1870, 102, 


A careful report by an eminent iron-master, in France upon 
the respective merits of the Heaton and Bessemer processes 
of refining iron presents the conclusion that while the former 
is not likely to replace the latter for the manufacture of steel, 
yet it is the best hitherto invented for the purification of or- 
dinaiy cast iron. It may be remembered that the Heaton 
process consists essentially in the addition of nitrate of soda 
to the melted metal, by which all the impurities, such as car- 
bon, sulphur, phosphorus, etc., become chemically combined 
with the nitrate, and pass off with a loud deflagration in the 
form of vapor, leaving the metal in a state of extraordinary 
purity. — 3 -4, March 4, 1870, 165. 


Among the various methods of preparing steel, that of Sie- 
mens, so well known in connection with an improvement of 
the smelting furnaces, is likely, it is said, to attain considera- 
ble prominence, possessing various advantages, both as to 
economy and the character of the product, over many others 
in common wse. For its preparation, good hsematite ore and 
spathic ore are mixed and treated with carbonaceous materi- 
als, by which their total or partial reduction into metallic 


iron is effected. This metallic iron is then subjected to very 
intense heat on the open hearth of a Siemens regenerative gas- 
furnace, and is dropped in certain given quantities or series 
of instalments into a bath of cast-iron previously prepared in 
the furnace. This. operation is continued until the requisite 
degree of decarbonization is arrived at ; the manganese is 
added in the form of ore or spiegeleisen. The quantity of 
molten metal thus produced in one charge is about four tons. 
It is dipped into a ladle and poured into iron moulds in the 
usual way, and forms steel of the highest quality. To those 
acquainted with the ordinary way of making steel, the supe- 
riority of tills process will be manifest, while as regards cost 
it effects a great saving. One ton of steel ingots may be pro- 
duced with a ton and a half of cheap small coal. The ordi- 
nary Sheffield process requires from five to six tons of fuel for 
one ton of steel. — 16 Aj April 9, 1870, 488. 


The following composition is used for preventing the oxida- 
tion of iron, especially the bottoms of iron ships: Seventy 
pounds of powdered sulphur, five pounds of the lye of caustic 
potash of thirty-five Beaum^, and one pound of copper filings 
ai'e to be heated together until the sulphur and copper have 
completely dissolved. During the process, seven and a half 
hundred weight of tallow and one and a half hundred weight 
of turpentine are to be heated together in another vessel until 
the tallow has. completely disappeared. The two solutions 
are then to be carefully stirred together when hot, and ap- 
plied iirimediately with a brush. — 6 £7, xxvn., 216. 


A paper was read by Colonel Clay, at the Liverpool meet- 
ing of the British Association, in reference to the mode of 
overcoming the difficulties in the way of economical forging 
of large and solid masses of iron. Furnaces of the old style 
of construction were said to be most imperfect and unreliable, 
some of them requiring renewing once a fortnight. Mr. Sie- 
mens had introduced the principle of heating large forges by 
means of gas, which attained intense degrees of heat, and 
saved at least fifty per cent, in fuel, but it was not until re- 
cently that the principle had been applied to heating large. 


Eolid masses ofiroD. This bad lately^ been done, however, 
&Dd proved completely saccessfal. Reference was also made 
to improved facilities for handling hot masses ofiron, andfor 
affording more working space for the men ; also to the con- 
structioD of a hammer with a clear, unfettered fall. — 6 A, Oc- 
tober, 1810, 440. 


Since the improvements made by Martin, Siemens, Besae- 
raer, Heaton, and others in the methods of purification ofiron 
and the mannfacture of steel, much ingenuity has been ex- 
pended in perfecting the various processes, and among others 
eng^ed in sach experiments is Mr. Farkes, the discoverer of 
the substance known as Fai'kesine. This gentleman has just 
patented a process, the special object of which is to purify 
iron from sulphur and pbosphorns, which is accomplished by 
injecting into it, when melted, compounds of chlorine or flno- 
rine. By melting the wrought i^oii with carbon, together 
with some chlorides and alkalies, it is converted into steel. 
It is stated that the method is one that promiees valuable re- 
sults in its application to use on a large scale. — Ifi A, March 


It has usually been supposed that the rusting of iron de- 
pends principally upon moisture and oxygen. It would ap- 
pear, however, from Dr. Calvert's experiments, that carbonic 
acid is the principal agent, and that without this the other 
agencies have veiy little effect. Iron does not rust at all in 
dry oxygen, and but little in moist oxygen, while it rusts 
very rapidly in a mixture of moist carbonic acid and oxygen. 

If a piece of bright imn be nlBi^ml in wot*p aatn-rutBA uritfc 

oxygen, it rusts very 1 
oxidation goes on so f 
in a very short time. 
solution of caustic alk: 
to be derived is that I 
from contact with iroi 
— 3 A, February 4, 18' 



A Gommunication was recently made to the British Asso- 
ciation upon a method for shaping railway axles by rolling 
pressure instead of by hammering, the result being accom- 
plished in two minutes instead of half an hour, as required 
by the usual method, the axle at the same time being not 
only superior in quality, but more uniform in size, and of 
course capable of being produced more cheaply. The ma- 
chine consists of three rollers, regulated so as gradually to 
press more closely together, thus reducing the diameter of 
the bar, and extending its length until shaped to the size re- 
quired. Axles of any length can be rolled in this manner 
with collars at any part. The rollers are geared to revolve 
in all the. same direction, their friction imparting motion to 
the axle. It was thought by the author of the communica- 
tion that the rolling process would tend to obviate those flaws 
in axles which so frequently cause disasters on railways. — 


In view of the results of a recent accident in England, 
caused by the breaking of a railway car axle from the un- 
soundness of the material, by which eighteen persons lost their 
lives, Sir Joseph Whitworth, the eminent English mechani- 
cian, urges the great importance of the use of every possible 
means for detecting the unsoundness of the iron used in axles 
of railway carriage^ As the best method for this purpose, he 
advises the drilling of a hole through the centre of its axis for 
its entire length, thus opening to inspection and examination 
that part of the material which, in the case of ordinary man- 
ufacture, is most subject to flaws. The hole should be about 
one inch in diameter, and with suitable mechanical ai*range- 
ments might be drilled at an average cost of about thirty- 
seven cents per axle. With the outside turned and the inside 
thus exposed to view, a serious flaw in the axle, which is only 
about four and a half inches in diameter, could hardly escape 
discovery. This plan will also diminish the tendency of the 
axle to get heated, by removing the material near the neu- 
tral axis, and, under the circumstances, would reduce the in- 
ternal strain, and thus render the axle safe. — 3 A^ Aug. 5, 103. 




For many years it has been almost an axiom among civil 
engineers that great cold tended to prodaee a brittle condi^ 
tion of iron and steel, and that by this hypothesis might be 
explained the alleged increase in the percentage of railway 
accidents by the breaking of tires and axles during the cold 
season as compared with the warm. A communication be^ 
fore the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester, by 
Mr. Brockbank, maintained the view just stated ; but in the 
discussion which followed several eminent engineers entered 
their protest against it, and adduced facts which tend to an 
entirely opposite conclusion. According to Dr. Joule, numei^ 
ous experiments by himself and others proved that, so far 
from iron and steel being weakened by cold, they are actual- 
ly made positively stronger, resisting shocks and strains be- 
fore which they yielded when brought to a higher tempera- 
ture. While not denying the fact of the greater frequency 
of fractures during the cold weather. Dr. Joule refers these to 
the increased hardness of the ground by freezing, by which 
the iron is subjected to a greater strain or shock than under 
ordinary circumstances. — 12 A^ January 26, S63. 



We have referred to the experiments of Mr. Brockbank 
in regard to the influence of cold upon the elasticity and 
strength of iron, and to the theory of M. Joule and others 
that cold, instead of weakening iron, aptually. adds to its 
strength. Mr. Peter Spence has lately presented to the Phil- 
osophical Society of Manchester a further communication on 
this subject, in which he expresses his adhesion to the opin- 
ions of M. Joule, and has no hesitation in stating it as a law, 
that a specimen of cast-iron having at 70° Fahrenheit a given 
power of resistance to transverse strain, will, when reduced 
to the temperature of zero, have that power increased by 
three per cent. After the reading of this paper, Mr, James 
Garrick queried whether the results were legitimately dedu- 
cible from the experiments mentioned by Mr. Spence, and 
thought that, for reasons adduced, the iron must have been 
of an inferior quality, and unfit for the purpose of reliable 
experiments. The impression, however, at the present time 


is gaining ground that cold at least does not increase the 
tendency to fracture of iron, and that the greater amount of 
breakage is- probably due, as previously suggested, to the 
diminished degree of elasticity of the road-bed, in conse- 
quence of the freezing of the soil.— 1 A^ March 17, 124. 


A great.objection to the use of zinc as a covering for the 
roofs: of houses, in spite of its cheapness, and the ease with 
iV'hidi.'the sheets can be laid on, is found in the ready oxida- 
tion of the metal during wet weather, as well as in the un- 
pleasant glare proceeding from it in the sunlight. Both of 
these defects may, however, be obviated by the application 
of a certain substance which gives to it a permanent slate 
color, and at the same time prevents decomposition. This is 
ptepared by heating in a porcelain dish one part, by weight, 
of cm>per scales, with a mixture of three parts of hydrochlo- 
ric acid, and one part of sulphuric acid, and continuing the 
operation until the red vapors cease to be evolved and the 
copper is dissolved. After this, sixty-four parts of water are 
to be added to the green solution, and the whole filtered. 

The sheets of zinc to which the application is to be made 
are to be thoroughly cleaned, and ^en imn^ersed for a few 
moments in this liquid. AfterwardTthey are to be washed 
with water And. allowed to dry in the open air. When dry 
they are to be dipped in a solution made by dissolving one 
part of black pitch and two parts of natural asphaltum in 
twelve parts of l),enzine or light coal-oil. After diying, a 
dull lustre may be imparted to the zinc by rubbing it with 
cotton or a cotton cloth. — 16 (7, ra., 287. 


For the purpose of warming and ventilating railway car- 
riages, it is proposed by Mr. Grandjean,of Paris,to use a res- 
ervoir of suitable capacity, divided into any number of com* 
partments, in which are placed sponges saturated with the 
essence of petroleum, mineral essence, or any other carburet 
of hydrogen of a volatile nature. In the middle of these 
compartments spaces are left so as to introduce wicks, which 
should touch the bottom of the receptacle, the number of the 
samel being as large or as limited as desired ; the upper part 


of the wicks enter burners placed at the top of the reservoir. 
When these burners are lighted they constitute a regular 
stove, by means of which the warming of the carriage is ef- 
fected.— 8 -4, October 1, 193. 


A new form of single-rail tramway has lately been intro- 
duced in India with a satisfactory result. The vehicles used, 
in addition to the ordinary wheels, have a pair of flanged 
wheels, one behind the other, running on the single rail which 
is laid at the centre of the track. The flanged wheels are 
adjusted by a screw, so as to take all the weight off the or- 
dinary wheels, without lifting them from the roadway. An 
experimental line has been laid, in part at an incline of 1 in 
40, and along this a pair of bullocks draw a load of three 
tons. The advantages are, firet, a very great diminution of 
power expended in hauling, as compared with traction on 
common roads; secondly, that the cost of construction is only 
one half that of an ordinary tramway with two lines of rails. 
— 5^, Oc^ofer, 1870,431. . . 


The subject of the proper dimensions of narrow-gauge rail- 
ways was fully discussed in the mechanical section of the 
British Association, and Mr. Fairlie, to whom the introduction 
of this important principle is largely due, presented a report, 
in which he concludes in favor of the d-foot gauge rather 
than one of 3 feet 6 inches, as admitting the use of stock of 
ample size and of less weight. This will be about two thirds 
the size of the gauge heretofore generally in use, namely, 4 
feet 8^ inches to 4 feet 10 inches. — 15 -4, AugvAt 12, 219. 


We find in a recent German journal an account of a new 
self-acting brake, invented by a German named Exter, which 
has been put in very successful and satisfactory opefation on 
the Bavarian railroads. For the purpose of experiment, it 
has been applied to cars of different sizes, large and small, 
and on roads of a greater or less degree of inclination ; and 
it has been found that, whatever be the rate of speed, a train 
can be stopped by means of these brakes in a very short dis- 


tance. The steam of the locomotive can be shut off and the 
brake of the tender applied, and this acts immediately upon 
all the other brakes of the train. In cases where the loco- 
motive was detached from the train and moved off from it, 
the same result was accomplished. — 6 C,xxxvi.,282. 


We have already referred to a steam brake invented by 
Exter,the general superintendent of railroads in Munich, and 
we now present a notice of a very simple arrangement lately 
devised by him for determining the velocity of locomotives, 
by which the engineer is in a condition to ascertain the rate 
at which he is moving at any moment, and to appreciate any 
variation, and thus be enabled to maintain any given rate of 
speed without the slightest difficulty. 

Without figures for illustration it will be difficult to give 
a satisfactory account of the apparatus in question, which is 
contained in a small tin box immediately in front of the en- 
gineer, and is set in motion by means of a cord extending to 
the locomotive axis. This indicates, by means of a pointer 
upon a dial-plate, the rate of movement in miles per hour, 
and draws at the same time, by means of a lead-pencil upon 
a moving paper roll visible to the engineer, and receiving its 
rotation from the motion, a line corresponding to the velocity 
of movement at any point of the journey. The authorized 
rate of velocity for any given train is indicated upon this 
paper disk by means of a line, and any deviation from such 
rate is appreciable to the engineer, as well as to any other 
official. The sheets of paper are to be removed at the end of 
each trip, and held subject to the inspection of the superin- 
tendent of transportation. The apparatus thus furnishes a 
graphic representation of the exact rate of the speed of every 
train at any point in its path ; and these indications being 
beyond the control of the engineer, an unerring check is held 
upon his movements, by which he can be brought to account 
for any improper dereliction of duty. 

• By a special adjustment of the apparatus, a second pencil 
shows^ how long the loconiotive has remained at any given 
statioD, being set in motion while the engine is at a stand- 
still, and ceasing when it is again started. 

A somewhat similar arrangement has been made by the 


same gentleman for measuring the rate of travel in carriages 
or wagons, indicating, as before, the time and rate of move- 
ment, and the stoppages made in the journey. This appa- 
ratus is contained in a small iron box fastened to the wagon, 
and provided with a glass door in front, through which the 
paper is visible. The advantages of the application of such 
an apparatus as a check upon the improper use of carriages 
by servants, or for determining the rate and distance traveled 
in a livery vehicle, will readily suggest themselves. — 14 C, 


The practice of insulating steam boilers with a loose jacket 
of wood or tin, and filling in the cavity between the two sur- 
faces with plaster of Paris, is now coming into use extensive- 
ly, and with marked results. Independent of economy of 
fuel, the radiation of the heat is greatly reduced, and conse- 
quently applied more directly to thiB formation of steam, 
while there is much less inconvenience and annoyance to the 
fireman from the heat. When the gypsum has hardened, the 
exterior casing may be removed if it is considered expedient. 
Quite recently cork has been used for a somewhat similar 
purpose, especially for coating tubes for conducting hot air 
or water, and for locomotives. — 6 (7, January 20, 28. 


Every day adds to the number of methods reconunended 
as efficient for removing deposits in steam boilers. One of 
the latest of these has been invented by Mr. Weiss,' of Basle, 
and is called by him Litho-reactive, and is claimed to possess 
the property of extracting old deposits and preventing the 
formation of new ones, converting info soap the grease com- 
ing from the condenser, and finally neutralizing all the acids. 
The formula for the preparation is as follows : Five parts of 
molasses or beet sirup, fifteen parts of milk of lime, three 
parts of water, and eighty-four parts of soda-lye of thirty-four 
degrees Beaiim4. The compound is said to precipitate at 
once all the bioarbonates, the sulphates, and the isilica, to con- 
vert the grease into soap, and neutralize all the acids, remov- 
ing all old deposits of whatever kind and however thick, and 
at the same time not attacking either iron or copper. It acts 


not only at an elevated temperature, but precipitates and neu- 
tralizes in cold water all these foreign bodies. For this rea- 
son the water njay be made to undergo a preliminary purifi- 
cation before passing into the boiler. Our space will not 
allow ns to give the details of the chemical theory by which 
the different substances referred to play their paits in pre- 
venting or removing the deposits in question, although fully 
set forth in the original communication of Mr. Weiss. We 
may state, however, that two pounds of the preparation are 
said to be sufficient for eighteen hundred quarts of water. — 
l^,«/w/y 4,16. 


With the view